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Messi powers Barca to five-star victory

FC Barcelona ran riot over Levante with a 5-0 triumph in LaLiga, after Lionel Messi starred with a hat-trick and two assists on Sunday evening.

Levante made a lively start after Emmanuel Boateng found space in the box to get a shot away which nearly wrong-footed Marc Andre Ter Stegen.

The home side didn’t stop piling on the pressure, but their final entries into the last third came off the worst quite often.

Levante’s best chance of the saw Boateng storm into the box before cracking the underside of the crossbar, with Ter Stegen well beaten.

With 35 minutes played, Luis Suarez opened the scoring for the visitors with a neat first-time volley in the box.

Messi turned home the second goal two minutes before the break after connecting with a great through-ball from Sergio Busquets.

It became a one-way traffic shortly after the break when the Catalans extended the tally after Messi finished from the edge of the box after combining with strike-partner Suarez.

Suarez beat the offside trap to connect with a side-field pass on the shoulder of the defence, but Oier Olazabal rushed off his line to narrow the angle and make the save.

Suarez beat the offside trap to connect with a side-field pass on the shoulder of the defence, but Oier Olazabal rushed off his line to narrow the angle and make the save.

Messi made it four to complete his hat-trick in the 60th minute with an easy tap-in at the back post following a square pass from Arturo Vidal.

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