Sport Football Lionel Messi hat-trick helps Barca break record
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Lionel Messi hat-trick helps Barca break record

Big earner ... Lionel Messi Photo: Getty
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Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick as Barcelona easily defeated nine-man Rayo Vallecano 5-1 to become the first Spanish club to play 35 consecutive matches without a loss, breaking Real Madrid’s record of nearly three decades ago.

Midfielder Ivan Rakitic opened the scoring, Messi added the second, third and fourth goals, and Arda Turan topped it off late.

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Watch Messi’s treble below

Rayo had two players sent off with straight red cards, Diego Llorente when they were 2-0 behind, and Manuel Iturra at 3-0 down.

It was Barcelona’s 10th win in a row in the league, keeping them eight points ahead of second-placed Atletico Madrid, who defeated Real Sociedad 3-0 on Tuesday.

Real Madrid remained 12 points adrift of the leaders after defeating last-placed Levante 3-1.

Messi has scored 19 goals in 22 La Liga appearances this season, and he has added another 13 in cup competitions.

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