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The Lionel Messi Show: Hat Trick Leads Barcelona to 5-0 Win

In this column, Xoel Càrdenas gives you his take on FC Barcelona's 5-0 win over Levante on Sunday night as well as Leo Messi's stats that are simply unreal and unexplainable.

David Ramos/Getty Images

It was the Lionel Messi show once again, as FC Barcelona crushed Levante UD 5-0 at the Camp Nou on Sunday night.

Neymar got the scoring in the 17th minute as a lovely cross by Lionel Messi found the Brazilian onside and alone and Neymar scooped it in for the 1-0 lead.

Messi made it 2-0 in the 38th minute as Marc Bartra picks off the ball, sent a nice pass to Leo and Messi put the ball toward the far post and in to double the lead.

In the second half, Messi made it 3-0 in the 60th minute as Sergio Busquets found Pedro onside and the Canarian crossed in to Leo who slotted in his second goal of the game.

Messi got his hat trick in the 65th minute as #D10S made it look easy from the spot kick.

Luis Suarez came in off the bench for Neymar, and in the 73rd minute, Luisito got a goal. Adriano drove toward the left side of the box, crossed it toward the middle of the box, and Luis Suarez with the bicycle kick for the go-la-zo! Suarez de chilena!

FT: FC Barcelona 5-0 Levante

Xoel's Take

Barça had many chances to score goals, but bad luck and bad refereeing didn't allow this. Nevertheless, there is not much to complain about.

Marc Bartra had a beast of a game against Levante. Marc hasn't played in a while, and against Levante, he wasn't going to hold anything back. Marc had terrific blocks and ran down Levante forwards with ease. Marc Bartra's awareness to steal the ball and give the smooth pass to Leo for the second Barcelona goal was just another example of why Bartra has "Puyol-esque" qualities. With all due respect to Sergio Busquets, I think Busi should give the No. 5 to Marc Bartra. The kid has shown he has the heart, leadership skills, and awareness of el Capità. Hopefully, we'll see Marc play in some "big" games this season (Champions League, Copa semi or final, etc.).

Pedro had a solid game. The Canarian did not grab a goal, but his hustle helped open up play in the Barça attack. Pedrito grabbed an assist, as he fed an open Messi for the third FCB goal. He even ran a Levante forward down to help out in defense in the first half. Pedro may not be the Pedro of 2010-11, but he is still capable of coming into games like this and causing problems for the opponent with his hustle and speed.

Neymar scored his 39th goal with FC Barcelona. The Brazilian surpassed Diego Maradona in the all-time Barça goal-scoring list.

Neymar was outstanding. This past week against Villarreal in the Copa del Rey semifinal, first leg, Neymar had a poor game that included a penalty kick saved. Neymar needed a good bounce-back game, and against Levante, he had just that. Beautiful finish by Ney on his lone goal of the night. Neymar is now the sixth Barça player to whom Messi has given 10 or more assists. Neymar could have had a goal or two more as well as assists in the match, but a bit of bad luck with some passes toward Messi prevented Neymar from having a better statistical game. But that's OK. Neymar got the bounce-back game he needed. Great to see Luis Suarez get a goal. And what a goal it was! Suarez was itching to get into the game, and off the bench came Luisito to get his golazo. As I've previously stated, we have yet to see the best of Luis Suarez at Barcelona. Hopefully, we see it begin now. Personally, I think it would be fitting if we see a Luis Suarez brace in Manchester when Barcelona take on Man City. Suarez scoring in England to defeat an old rival would be poetic.

No one on Barcelona had a "bad" game. Adriano and Martin Montoya held down the back line. Javier Mascherano was solid. The midfield was fine, as Xavi, Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets played well. Lastly, Claudio Bravo held down the fort, as he made the saves when needed and grabbed another shutout this season.

Messi's World

It's Leo Messi's world, as the Argentine #D10S grabbed another hat trick against Levante. Lionel Messi is not only the best goal-scorer; he's the best assister, as his wonder cross to Neymar was just another example of his greatness. With his assist to Neymar, Messi (106) surpassed Luis Figo (105) for the most assists in La Liga in the last 25 years.

Lionel Messi has equaled Cristano Ronaldo for the most hat tricks in ever in La Liga (not counting Copa del Rey and Spanish SuperCup) with 23 hat tricks. Leo has also equaled Telmo Zarra as the players with most hat tricks ever (31) in the history of Spanish football. Messi now has the most club goals (37) in Spanish football this season (all competitions), surpassing Ronaldo.

Leo Messi has now played in 500 games for FC Barcelona, official games and friendlies:

Games: 500

Goals: 419

Assists: 162

Via ESPN Deportes' Mr. Chip: Lionel Messi scored 348 goals in 348 games for FC Barcelona since June 2008, when Pep Guardiola became the first-squad manager. One goal every 83 minutes.

A goal per game! Unreal and unexplainable!

Then again, Leo Messi is unreal and unexplainable himself. Words cannot describe his greatness. We will have to invent new words to try to explain Lionel Messi because "magic", "greatest ever", "D10S", and all other words are simply not doing Messi justice.

Lionel Andres Messi: The Legend continues...

Xoel's Final Word

Barcelona keeps rolling, as El Blaugrana defeated Levante 5-0 at the Camp Nou on Sunday. With the win, FC Barcelona has now won 11 games in a row, equaling the best win streak during the Pep Guardiola era (2008-12).

Messi dominates, Neymar continues to get better, and FC Barcelona continues to be on fire.

Let the Barça fire burn the football world.


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