Messi magic & Sevilla success

Lionel Messi set a new benchmark for Barcelona as they routed Osasuna, while Sevilla cruised to victory against Real Valladolid.

Last Updated: 16/03/14 at 22:36 Post Comment

Lionel Messi: Barcelona ace is now the club's all-time leading scorer

Lionel Messi: Barcelona ace is now the club's all-time leading scorer

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Argentina ace Messi hit a hat-trick to become Barcelona's all-time top scorer as the Catalan club cruised to a commanding 7-0 win over Osasuna.

The 26-year-old opened the scoring after 19 minutes to equal Paulino Alcantara's record of 369 goals in all competitions - including friendlies - for Barcelona. Alexis Sanchez and Andres Iniesta increased the hosts' advantage before the break.

Messi struck again in the second half to move onto 370 goals and become the club's undisputed top marksman, and then completed his treble with a simple finish in the 87th minute, after substitute Cristian Tello had rammed in the fifth goal.

There was still time for a seventh goal, however, Messi adding an assist to his goal haul by teeing up Pedro.

Barca remain third in the Primera Division and four points behind leaders Real Madrid despite the win, but will have the chance to cut the gap with their arch rivals at the Bernabeu in a week's time.

Sevilla produced the perfect response to their Europa League loss to arch-rivals Real Betis with a convincing 4-1 win over Real Valladolid that boosts their dreams of a top-four finish.

Hopes of progressing to the Europa League quarter-finals this season could have been sunk following Thursday's 2-0 home defeat to Betis, but Sevilla's Primera Division form could yet see them playing Champions League football next season.

A brace from Kevin Gameiro, one a penalty, plus further goals from Ivan Rakitic - also from the spot - and Diogo Figueiras earned them victory over Real Valladolid and improved their winning streak in La Liga to four matches.

It also lifted them to within seven points of fourth-placed Athletic Bilbao, who face a tough trip to fifth-placed Villarreal on Monday night.

Valladolid netted a consolation through Javi Guerra but it did little to affect the outcome as his side remained stuck in the bottom three.

Real Sociedad closed to within five points of the Champions League places by beating Juan Antonio Pizzi's Valencia 1-0 at Anoeta.

A 61st-minute goal from Imanol Agirretxe settled a match of few chances and boosted Real Sociedad's hopes of catching Basque rivals Athletic Bilbao.

Valencia, meanwhile, slipped eight points behind seventh-placed Sevilla in their quest to reach the Europa League.

Primera Liga bottom side Real Betis claimed a much-needed point from a goalless draw against Elche at Martinez Valero.

Fran Escriba's hosts had the better of the opportunities to force an opener in the first half but their opponents gave as good as they got.

The draw extended Betis' unbeaten run to five games in all competitions, leaving them nine points from safety, while the point moves the hosts up one place to 13th.

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C

lassic management. Build them up and then knock them back. Raise expectations and then dampen them. Create a dynamic where by you demand the most from your team, but where the team are given room to manoeuvre unexpected or unwanted results. Classy work by Van Gaal, he really reminds me a lot of me. A smart cookie, make no doubt.

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Van Gaal: 'I struggle for first three months'

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e will be the England left back for ten years or more, and then you will have to thank MUFC for that. *smiles*

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Shaw: Criticism spot on

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urely because of that little diva moment he had last night, I don't want him coming to my club. DESTROYED ? Grow up and give something back to the club that helped put you up there on the world stage.

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