Messi hat-trick keeps Barca level with Real

MADRID - Lionel Messi netted a superb hat-trick for Barcelona in their 4-2 away win at Real Zaragoza to keep them neck-and-neck with Real Madrid at the top of La Liga.

MADRID - Lionel Messi netted a superb hat-trick for Barcelona in their 4-2 away win at Real Zaragoza to keep them neck-and-neck with Real Madrid at the top of La Liga.

The champions moved on to 68 points from 27 games, level with Real who beat Sporting Gijon 3-1 on Saturday, but stayed second on goal difference.

Earlier, David Silva set up the first and scored the second as Valencia overcame a stubborn Almeria 2-0 to strengthen their hold on third place with 50 points.

They moved four points clear of Real Mallorca, who moved into Spain's fourth and last Champions League qualification spot by crushing 10-man Atletico Madrid 4-1. - Reuters

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