Barcelona-Eibar

Barcelona: Messi four-haul against Eibar ends Liga drought

The Argentinean struck four against Eibar to take his Liga hat-trick tally to 36, two more than Cristiano Ronaldo during his Real Madrid career.

Barcelona: Messi hat-trick against Eibar ends Liga drought
ALBERT GEA REUTERS

Leo Messi ended his longest Liga drought since 2013-14 in style in the opening 45 minutes of Barcelona’s match against Eibar in Camp Nou on Saturday by netting a hat-trick inside 40 minutes to bring a run of four games without finding the net to an end.

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The three-goal flurry brought Messi’s tally against Eibar to 20 in 11 Liga games, among which was a four-goal haul against the same opposition in 2017-18. Messi’s goal-per-game ratio against the Gunners now stands at 1.81 per 90 minutes, considerably more than the 0.86 endured by his favourite Liga victims Sevilla (29 in 25) and the 0.96 goals-per-game he has inflicted on Atlético, second in the list of most-breached Liga sides by the Argentinean.

Messi inches Barça towards Madrid's hat-trick record 

It also took the Barça forward to 36 Liga hat-tricks, two more than Cristiano Ronaldo, and moved Barcelona as a club to within Real Madrid’s record haul of 191 trebles in Liga history. Messi has now been responsible for five of the last 10 hat-tricks scored in LaLiga and has a career record across all competitions of 54, two behind Ronaldo’s tally of 56.

One record that still eludes the Argentinean though is the fastest hat-trick in Liga history.

Kevin Gameiro scored a treble in four minutes and 43 seconds in 2017 as Atletico Madrid beat Sporting Gijon 4-1. The only other sub-five minute hat-tricks in Liga history were hit by Bebeto in 1995-96 and David Villa in 2005-06, the former Spain striker holding the absolute record at four minutes.