Barcelona 4-1 Celta Vigo: Messi dead ball hat-trick wins it

It was the first hat-trick of set-pieces in La Liga since... a certain Lionel Messi scored one in 2012 against Espanyol.

Lionel Messi scored two exquisite free kicks as he netted his first hat-trick of the season in a 4-1 win over Celta Vigo on Saturday which took Barcelona back to the top of La Liga after a hard week.

While it was Messi's 52nd career hat-trick, he now moves level with Cristiano Ronaldo on 34 LaLiga hat-tricks - the most in Spanish top flight history.

Messi opened the scoring with a calm penalty before curling two almost-identical free-kicks over the wall and beyond the despairing dive of the Celta goalkeeper Ruben Blanco, on either side of half-time to wrap the game up in la Blaugrana's favour.

If anything, the yellow card he earned and subsequent goal from the visitors served as motivation for Messi, because magic from Barcelona's No. 10 was on its way.

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Barca are joint log leaders with rivals Real Madrid who also recorded massive win away from home at Eibar earlier on Saturday. Minutes after both teams took the field after the break, his second inch-perfect free kick found the back of net.

Barely three minutes after resuming the second half, the Argentine forward was presented with another opportunity from a familiar position via free kick, and the 32-year-old converted the opportunity as he completed his hat-trick in the meeting.

Messi has now scored eight goals in a total of seven La Liga matches.

Sergio Busquets drilled in the fourth but it was Messi's night as usual as he repeated a feat last managed in Spain in 2012 - by Messi himself.

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