Messi hits four as Barcelona demolish Valencia

19 Feb 2012 22:47:01

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Lionel Messi hit four goals as he inspired Barcelona to a 5-1 victory over Valencia, but the champions still remain 10 points behind leaders Real Madrid.

Messi took his league goals tally to 27 for the season and 42 in all competitions.

Pablo Piatti put third-placed Valencia ahead before Messi responded with two goals in five minutes.

Barca were in control but some excellent keeping from Diego Alves, as well as profligate finishing, prevented them seeing off Valencia earlier.

Messi completed his hat-trick with 15 minutes to go after running clear of the defence and clipping the ball over the keeper.

Substitute Xavi Hernandez lobbed the ball in for the fifth in injury time.

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