The Argentine maestro takes his goal scoring tally to 199 in all competitions as the Blaugrana eases past Caparros' side with Isaac Cuenca scoring in his second appearance.Lionel Messi answered his critics with a superbly taken hat-trick inside the opening half-hour at Camp Nou as the Blaugrana thrashed Mallorca 5-0 on Saturday.
The Argentine striker had gone three matches without scoring, evoking criticism for his recent performances. But Barcelona’s No. 10 responded in emphatic fashion.
Messi scored his first from the penalty spot inside the opening 15 minutes, giving him the perfect reprisal for his miss from 12 yards against Sevilla. He had his second soon after with an easy finish six yards out and goal No. 199 came after 28 minutes.
Isaac Cuenca added a fourth with his first senior goal and a stunning Dani Alves strike completed the rout which helped lift Barcelona to the top of the league ahead of Real Madrid’s clash against Sociedad.
Barcelona dominated the early possession but it was Mallorca which came closest to taking the lead when Joao Victor burst onto a low cross only to divert his shot wide of the target.
And Mallorca was left ruing that miss when it found itself a goal down not long afterwards when Emilio Nsue handled inside the penalty area giving Messi the chance to end his goal draught. The Argentine steadied himself before converting the spot kick in emphatic fashion rifling the ball into the top corner of the net.
Youngster Cuenca then tormented Pedro Bigas before sending a devilish cross to the far post which Adriano volleyed, somewhat fortunately, into the path of Messi to double Barcelona's lead 21 minutes in.
Messi had completed his hat-trick inside 30 minutes with a beautifully taken half-volley after Dani Alves swung a cross into the Argentines path who struck the ball perfectly with his left foot moving his Barcelona record to 199 goals in all competitions.
Barcelona started the second half in similar fashion and had its fourth of the night when Cuenca rounded Aouate before hammering in his first-ever senior goal following Adriano’s intricately placed through-ball.
There was still time for Alves to add a fifth goal when he attempted an audacious shot from distance which dipped viciously below the crossbar to ensure it was a five-star performance for Guardiola’s men.
Mallorca failed to pressurize the Barcelona defense as the came sauntered to an end with Joaquin Capparros turning his attention to the match against Sevilla in pursuit of his first win as Mallorca’s coach.
Guardiola’s side turn its attentions to the Champions League as it faces a difficult trip to Viktoria Plzen on Tuesday night.