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Rediff.com  » Sports » La Liga: 'Trickster' Messi becomes highest goal-scorer for Barca

La Liga: 'Trickster' Messi becomes highest goal-scorer for Barca

Last updated on: March 17, 2014 17:39 IST

Lionel Messi hit a hat-trick as Barcelona warmed up for the El Clasico with Real Madrid next weekend with a 7-0 victory over Osasuna that put them four points off the top of La Liga.

FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates with teammate Daniel Alves after scoring against Osasuna during their La Liga match on SundayMessi is now the highest goal-scorer for Barcelona with 371 goals in all competitions, breaking an 87-year-old record held by Paulino Alcantara (369 goals). 

The Argentine struck the opener after 18 minutes in a morale boosting victory for the Catalan side ahead of the crunch game at the Bernabeu.

Barca knocked Manchester City out of the Champions League last Wednesday but went into the Osasuna clash on the back of two defeats from their past three league games.

Alexis Sanchez pounced to double the lead after 22 minutes and Andres Iniesta hit a fine left-footed drive from 20 yards with little over half an hour gone.

Chances continued to come and go before Messi bagged another with a shot into the roof of the net from close range just after the hour before substitute Cristian Tello netted with a powerful strike.

Messi was given time in the area to score his third late on, his 18th of the season, and then he set-up Pedro to complete the rout in stoppage time.

Brazilian Neymar was a surprise absentee from the starting lineup in a win that left Barca on 66 points from 28 matches, four behind Real and one behind Atletico Madrid who beat Espanyol 1-0 on Saturday.

Image: FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates with teammate Daniel Alves after scoring against Osasuna during their La Liga match on Sunday

Photograph: Alex Caparros/Getty Images

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