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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sn'tthis strange. Last season we were worried that we were stuck with a Dinosaur in Moyes while Liverpool and Everton were disappearing into the distance with their young, spritely managerts, playing football from heaven. Progressive managers, they said. Managers who understand the modern game.........

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Rodgers: The pressure's on

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eing consistently and unrelentingly dog turd really takes it out of you. Try shadow boxing. That's what it's like watching Liverpool, punching thin air.

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Neville: Reds need a rest

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ood list, some crackers in there. For me, I'd have had Steve McManaman for Liverpool away at Celtic in the UEFA cup in 1997. I was in the ground that night and everyone kept screaming at him to make a pass, but he just kept going and going and going...brilliant, and in the dying minutes too.

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