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Played
May 2, 2012 7:00 PM BST
Camp Nou — Barcelona
Referee:‬ Javier Turienzo Álvarez‎
Attendance:‬ 67854‎
 
14′ Carles Puyol
Rondón 27′
35′ (PG) Messi
 
59′ (PG) Messi
 
64′ Messi
 
Top of the Match
Andrés Iniesta Luján
Andrés Iniesta Luján
FC Barcelona
Messi
Messi
FC Barcelona
Flop of the Match
Martín Demichelis
Martín Demichelis
Malaga
Diego Buonanotte
Diego Buonanotte
Malaga

Barcelona 4-1 Malaga: Imperious Messi nets hat-trick to reach 68 goals for the season and surpass Gerd Muller's European record

The Argentine was the star of the show once again as Pep Guardiola's men swept away the challenge of the visitors to maintain the pressure on Real Madrid for the time being

By Vasil Kotsev

Leo Messi, Santiago Cazorla, Duda - FC Barcelona vs Málaga
Getty Images
Lionel Messi was the record breaker once again, reaching 68 goals for the season as Barcelona recorded a convincing 4-1 victory over Malaga at Camp Nou to keep their slim chances of defending their La Liga crown alive.

Carles Puyol netted the opener early on as the Catalans got off to a flying start to the match, but the Blaugrana captain soon turned from hero to villain as he allowed Salomon Rondon to find the equaliser with a fine header shortly after.

Messi, however, had the final say as he netted a penalty just after the half-hour mark, and added a double in the second period to round off the win, and in the process surpass Gerd Muller's European goalscoring record, which the German had held since the 1972-73 campaign.

Both teams began the match cautiously, but it was Malaga who looked the more threatening side in the opening minutes. Duda struck the post for Manuel Pellegrini's men with a free kick as the visitors were starting to build momentum, but they were soon pegged back by a trademark Barcelona goal.

Messi and Andres Iniesta combined well on the right, before the Spaniard crossed for captain Puyol, who
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applied a simple finish, leaving Carlos Kameni helpless.

Malaga, however, were not too discouraged by the turn of events and continued to apply pressure on the hosts.

Just before the half-hour mark their efforts were rewarded as Rondon netted the equaliser. An opportunistic cross by Jesus Gamez from the right found the Venezuelan in the box, and the striker scored with a diving header after slipping past Puyol.

Malaga's joy did not last long, however, as in the 34th minute Barcelona were rewarded a penalty for a foul on Andres Iniesta. Messi kept his nerve, and coolly converted into the centre of Kameni's goal to restore Barca's lead.

Malaga attempted to get back into the game after the break, but their hopes were soon crushed by Pep Guardiola's clinical team, and in particular, their Argentine star.

On the hour mark a mistimed challenge by Duda on Messi in the box resulted in another penalty for the Blaugrana. The Ballon d'Or holder once again got the better of goalkeeper Kameni from the spot.

Messi did not stop there, however, as in the 64th minute he completed his hat-trick. A clever through-ball from Iniesta saw Messi rush through Malaga's defence and flick the ball over Kameni to make it 4-1 for Barcelona, and edge past Muller into the history books.

Manuel Pellegrini's men never gave up and tried to take the game to the Catalans in the remaining minutes of the match. Their efforts were futile, however, as Guardiola's side easily soaked up the pressure to record a convincing victory.

Following tonight's result, Barcelona are second in the standings with 87 points, while Malaga sit fourth with 55. The Blaugrana's next league game is at home against Espanyol on Saturday, while Manuel Pellegrini's men visit Atletico Madrid on the same day.

Real Madrid, meanwhile, could clinch the Primera Division title if they are able to defeat Athletic Bilbao at San Mames later on Wednesday.


FC Barcelona

13
2.50
22
Daniel Alves
Defender
3.00
5
Carles Puyol
Defender
14′ 68′
3.50
21
Adriano
Midfielder
3.00
4
Cesc Fàbregas
Midfielder
83′
3.00
8
4.00
14
Javier Mascherano
Midfielder
3.00
-
Seydou Keita
Midfielder
3.00
10
Messi
Striker
35′ 59′ 64′
4.00
7
Pedro
Striker
68′ 84′
2.50
23
Cuenca
Striker
2.50

Malaga

2.50
1
Carlos Kameni
Goalkeeper
2.50
2
2.50
26
2.50
18
Eliseu
Midfielder
2.50
21
2.50
6
Camacho
Midfielder
57′
2.00
19
Santi Cazorla
Midfielder
69′
3.00
17
Duda
Midfielder
58′
2.00
-
3.00
23
Rondón
Striker
27′ 61′
2.50
27
Portillo
Midfielder

Substitutes

1
 - 
15
Bartra
Defender
68′
2.50
2
Montoya
Defender
 - 
6
 - 
16
Busquets
Midfielder
 - 
19
2.50
20
Tello
Striker
84′
2.50

Substitutes

 - 
25
Rubén
Goalkeeper
 - 
3
Weligton
Defender
 - 
17
Monreal
Defender
 - 
17
Joaquín
Midfielder
2.50
45
Recio
Midfielder
69′
2.50
22

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
C. Ronaldo C. Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
28 6
Diego Costa Diego Costa
Striker
Atl. Madrid
27 5
Messi Messi
Striker
Barcelona
26 6
Karim Benzema Karim Benzema
Striker
Real Madrid
17 0
Alexis Sánchez Alexis Sánchez
Striker
Barcelona
17 0