Video: Barcelona 4-0 Granada – Messi hat-trick seals easy win for the Catalans

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Barcelona cruised to an easy 4-0 victory over Granada at the Nou Camp on Saturday afternoon, a result which temporarily returns them to the summit of the table.

Lionel Messi scored twice in the first 14 minutes and completed his hat-trick just before the hour. Neymar added a late fourth.

Luis Suarez and Jordi Alba could both have scored before Messi broke the deadlock in the seventh minute, as Alba fired wide from close range and Suarez couldn’t quite get on the end of Ivan Rakitic’s through-ball.

The first goal came after some intricate work between Turan, Suarez, and Messi. The Uruguayan’s dummy unlocked the defence and gave new signing Turan the time and space to pick out the goalscorer.

Messi grabbed his second just seven minutes later. Neymar did the hard work by beating two defenders and picking out Suarez, whose deft touch gave the 28-year-old a simple finish.

On the half hour mark Suarez missed one of the simplest chances of his career. A stunning flick from Neymar played in the ex-Liverpool man, but despite rounding the keeper the ball came off his shin and went wide of the open goal.

Messi had two chances to complete a first half hat-trick, but the game petered out half-time without further any further goals.

Twelve minutes after half time, he did manage to wrap up his hat-trick. Neymar broke from deep and smashed a shot off the post. Messi reacted quickest, beating the Espanyol defenders to the rebound and poking the ball into the top corner.

Barcelona continued to push for a fourth, and although for a while it looked like they might have to settle for three, Neymar did eventually add number four with seven minutes remaining. Suarez supplied the assist, and Neymar flicked the ball into the roof of the net from two yards out.

The result puts Barcelona top on the league, one point clear of Atletico Madrid who play high-flying Celta Vigo at the Estadio de Balaídos tomorrow lunchtime.

Granada stay 17th, one place and two points above the drop zone.

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Next up for Barcelona is the second leg of their Copa del Rey game against local rivals Espanyol on Wednesday night, then a home game against Athletic Club Bilbao in the league next Sunday.

Granada are also in action in the cup in mid-week, but after losing the first leg 4-0 to Valencia they face an uphill battle to qualify. They play Eibar in the league next Monday.

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