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Messi hat-trick sparks Barcelona eight-goal rout
Lionel Messi grabbed a hat-trick as Barcelona responded emphatically to questions over their motivation by demolishing Osasuna 8-0 in a staggering display of attacking football at Camp Nou on Saturday.
Messi scored his first goal after just five minutes as the Spanish and European champions rebounded from two successive draws to deliver the perfect response to critics who claimed they had become complacent with success.
Cesc Fabregas, playing in attack with Pedro Rodriguez rested, soon scored their second before David Villa rounded the keeper just after the half hour mark and slotted home.
An own-goal from Ruben Gonzalez added to Osasuna's misery and Messi was on target again before the break.
There was no drop in pace this time from Barca as in their games against Real Sociedad and AC Milan, and they continued to punish Osasuna.
Xavi lobbed the keeper and then Villa and Messi both struck again to wrap up the scoring.
It will be a warning to Real Madrid who face Levante on Sunday that they will not let go of their league title without a fight.
There has been a mood of optimism in the Real camp that this season they will come out of the shadows of Barca.
"We want to compete for all the competitions and I don't want to pick between the league and the Champions League over which would be more important," said Real star Xabi Alonso.
"We were not at our best in the last league match against Getafe as we lacked control over the game but it is good to be able to make corrections while still having won."
Earlier a poacher's goal from in-form Roberto Soldado gave Valencia a 1-0 win over Sporting Gijon to maintain their 100 per cent start to the season.
Sporting, who are still to pick up a point, started strongly with plenty of possession but it was Valencia who took the lead through Soldado who has now scored five of Valencia's six goals so far.
Sloppy defending from the home defence gave Jonas Goncalves plenty of time to shoot but while the keeper Juan Pablo saved well, Soldado pounced on the rebound.
Sporting showed spirit but it was Valencia who looked more dangerous in front of goal.
Soldado could have had a second after the break and substitute Aritz Aduriz also had a shot blocked well by the keeper.
"The game showed the personality of the team and it was a group performance. This was a difficult game against a side which is battling to pick up points so we can congratulate ourselves for the way we played and worked hard," said Valencia coach Unai Emery.
A deflected Martin Demichelis header, which came off Pablo Caceres, gave Malaga a deserved 1-0 victory against Mallorca and Granada picked up their first points of the season with Ikechuwku Uche scoring in a 1-0 victory over Villarreal.
Promoted Real Betis will look to continue their winning run away to Athletic Bilbao who are still finding their feet under new coach Marcelo Bielsa.
Real Sociedad will be on a high against Sevilla after their comeback against Barca but in contrast Atletico Madrid take on Racing Santander still looking to score their first goal in the league.