The best player in the world notched up another hat trick on Thursday. Barcelona rode on Lionel Messi’s brilliance to beat Real Madrid’s 34-match unbeaten record in Spanish La Liga by defeating Rayo Vallecano with a final score of 5-1.
Midfielder Ivan Rakitic opened the scoring for the Spanish giants, capitalizing on a goal-keeping error. And then Messi tore apart Rayo Vallecano as Barcelona became the first Spanish team to have played 35 consecutive games without a loss. Real Madrid’s record, which stood for almost three decades, was broken. Former superstars like Emilio Butragueno and Hugo Sanchez started the winning streak for Real Madrid under coach Leo Beenhakker and went on to set the record. The unbeaten streak was broken by Celta Vigo in 1989.
Barcelona also won their tenth game in a row in this edition of league. They are at the top of the table, eight points ahead of second placed Atletico Madrid.
There were more drama in the stadium apart from Messi’s hat trick and Barca’s big margin win. Rayo Vallecano was reduced to nine-men as Diego Llorente and Manuel Iturra were sent off. Llorente received the marching order when they were 0-2 down and Iturra was sent off when Barca led 3-1. Luis Suarez missed a penalty kick, according to Fox Sports. Prior to this game, Rayo was unbeaten in 7 games in the league. Arda Turan netted the final goal as Barcelona tied Real Madrid’s tally of 74 goals in 27 matches in the league.
The Argentine maestro who had a goal disallowed in the ninth minute first drew blood after being fed by Neymar inside the box, one minute after Barca took the lead through Rakitic. He netted his second from a rebound after Suarez hit the post early in the second session. Messi completed his hat trick scoring from a close range in the 72nd minute, reports The Guardian. Angolan striker Alberto Manucho netted a consolation goal for Rayo.
This video shows the highlights of the match. Messi’s tally in the league increased to 19 goals. His fellow team-mate Luis Suarez leads the table with 25 goals.