Rayo Vallecano 1-5 Barcelona: Messi shines as Barca breaks Spanish league record

A Lionel Messi hat-trick and another two from Ivan Rakitic and Arda Turan rounded off a record-breaking night for Barcelona with a 5-1 win over Rayo Vallecano.

Rayo Vallecano 1-5 Barcelona: Messi shines as Barca breaks Spanish league record
Lionel Messi celebrates during Barcelona's 5-1 win over Rayo Vallecano. | Image source: Sky Sports.
Rayo Vallecano
1 5
Barcelona
Rayo Vallecano: JUAN CARLOS, QUINI, LLORENTE, CRESPO, TITO, ITURRA, TRASHORRAS, EMBARBA, PITI (CABALLERO, MIN. 56), BEBE (AMAYA, MIN. 71), MANUCHO (GUERRA, MIN. 80)
Barcelona: BRAVO, ROBERTO (VIDAL, MIN. 72), PIQUE, MASCHERANO, MATHIEU, RAKITIC (TURAN, MIN. 66), BUSQUETS (VERMAELEN, MIN. 77), INIESTA, MESSI, SUAREZ, NEYMAR
SCORE: 0-1, MIN. 22, RAKITIC 0-2, MIN. 23, MESSI 0-3, MIN. 53, MESSI 1-3, MIN. 57, MANUCHO 1-4, MIN. 72, MESSI 1-5, MIN. 86, TURAN
REFEREE: INAKI VICANDI GARRIDO BOOKED TURAN (MIN. 78) NEYMAR (MIN. 87) SENT OFF LLORENTE (MIN. 42) ITURRA (MIN. 67)

Lionel Messi was the star man once again as he scored a hat-trick in Barcelona’s 5-1 win over Rayo Vallecano to go eight points clear at the top of La Liga.

Luis Enrique’s side dominated throughout with Messi having a goal disallowed just nine minutes before Ivan Rakitic opened the scoring in the 22nd minute. Messi added a second just seconds later before Diego Llorente was dismissed for the home side before the break.

Messi added his second after the break before Manucho got one back for Vallecano. However another dismissal in Manuel Iturra and further goals from Messi and Arda Turan extended Barca’s unbeaten record to a record-breaking 35 matches.

Bright start

It was the home side who had the first opportunity of the game just five minutes when Adri Embara attempted a shot from outside the area which forced Claudio Bravo to get across to make a decent save.

Barca dominated proceedings from that point onward however and looked to have took the lead nine minutes in when Messi had the ball in the net but the Argentine was correctly ruled offside.

Deadly duo

Despite been under pressure for the majority of the opening 20 minutes Vallecano were doing well to handle the pressure but were dealt a big blow with two Catalan goals in quick succession.

Martinez Corral Juan Carlos produced a great one-handed save from Messi in the 21st minute but was completely at fault for the opening goal just a minute later.

Carlos did very well with the stop from Messi but produced a howler as he dropped a simple cross in from the right and Rakitic was there to accept the gift as he tapped it into an empty net.

Messi added a second just a minute later as Neymar drifted down the left before he played it back into the path of the Argentine who placed it into the bottom corner.

It got worse for the home side as they were reduced to ten men with three minutes left in the first period as Llorente made a rash, late challenge on Rakitic which gave Inaki Vicandi Garrido no choice but to show him a straight red.

Rakatic celebrates his goal. | Image source: Sky Sports.
Rakatic celebrates his goal. | Image source: Sky Sports.

Raining goals

Barca continued to show no mercy as the second half began with Neymar and Luis Suarez going very close after the restart but Messi all but sealed the game with the third goal in the 53rd minute.

Messi was very much alive to the situation as Suarez’s effort came back off the post and despite the efforts of Carlos to keep the shot off the line it managed to sneak in from close range.

Vallecano managed to get one back four minutes after going three behind as Bebe headed it down to Manucho who made no mistake as he headed in from close-range.

From worse to worse

Vallecano’s evening continued to worsen after Neymar rattled the crossbar they were reduced to nine men as Iturra was given his marching orders for hauling over Sergio Busquets following the Brazilian’s set piece.

Suarez missed the subsequent penalty but Messi managed to make up for the Uruguayan’s mistake as he added his third and Barca’s fourth.

Barca rounded a perfect evening four minutes from the end as they added their fifth.

It was simple effort as substitute Turan was left free in the area and he was first to get his head to Jeremy Mathieu’s ball into the area and put it beyond Carlos to extend their lead at the top of the table.