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La Liga: Barcelona Annihilate Almeria 8-0 as Messi Scores a Hat Trick; Barcelona In Great Form For Next Week's Classico Against Real Madrid

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It was Barcelona's sixth win in six away matches, and it was by far the most overwhelming one. Barcelona sent out a warning to every rival out there by completely destroying Almeria with a disbelieving 8-0 scoreline.

Messi scored a hat trick, Bojan scored two in only 35 minutes, Pedro and Iniesta both scored one and Acasiete scored an own goal. David Villa did not score, but he played exceptionally.

At the break, Barcelona already led 5-0. Surprisingly, Guardiola decided to rest Piqué and give Fontás an opportunity and the youngster didn't disappoint. He didn't have much work to do defensively, but he brilliantly set up Barcelona's fourth goal, sending a perfect long pass to Pedro.

For the second half, Xavi and Iniesta left the pitch for Thiago Alcantara and Keita and in the 55th minute Pedro left for Bojan. However, the Barcelona juggernaut kept on wreaking havoc. Thiago showed once again that he has the potential to lead Barcelona's midfield for many years to come, while Bojan finally showed his form from last season, scoring a brace and contributing for Messi's third goal.

It couldn't have been a more perfect match for Barcelona. The Blaugrana played their best football of the season right before the Classico, they managed to rest some of their key players and Bojan finally managed to find his form, which suggest that he will be a very important player just like last season.

As for Lionel Messi, he showed once again that he is the best player of this generation by a very large distance. In only 17 matches this season, the Argentina has scored 22 goals and assisted nine.

Unfortunately for Barcelona, Real Madrid beat Athletic Bilbao 5-1 at the Bernabeu and are in first place. In next week's Classico at Camp Nou, Barcelona have a fantastic opportunity to take the first place, which would be theirs by now if not for the poor home form displayed at the beginning of the season.

Before that, though, Barcelona will travel to Greece to face Panathinaikos on Wednesday and a victory will ensure smooth sailing to the knockout stages of the Champions League. Only after that match can Barcelona start thinking of the Classico.