Messi stars in Barcelona thrillier
Deportivo La Coruna (Pizzi x2, Bergantiños, Alba OG) 4-5 Barcelona (Messi x 3, Alba, Tello)
Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick as Barcelona remained top of La Liga following a thrilling victory over Deportivo La Coruna at the Riazor.
Barcelona had raced into a two-goal lead after only eight minutes thanks to strikes from Jordi Alba and Cristian Tello, before Messi made the score 3-0 ten minutes later.
Deportivo struck back courtesy of Pizzi and Alex Bergantinos to reduce the deficit, but Messi added his second and Barcelona's fourth two minutes before the half-time interval.
Pizzi fired in a free-kick from 25 yards just after the break to haul his side back into the game, and Deportivo were further boosted moments later when Barcelona were reduced to ten men, with Javier Mascherano picking up a second booking.
Messi, though, enabled Barcelona to rest slightly easier going into the latter stages of the game when he completed his hat-trick after 77 minutes, before Alba set up a tense finale when he turned past Victor Valdes and into his own net.
Barcelona are now three points clear of Atletico Madrid at the summit of the Spanish league, while they are eight points ahead of reigning champions Real Madrid.