Messi's hat-trick gifts Barca history-making record

10:31, February 06, 2011      

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(L to R) Barcelona's David Villa, Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta celebrate a goal against Atletico Madrid during their Spanish First Division match at Nou Camp stadium in Barcelona, February 5, 2011. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

MADRID, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- FC Barcelona made history in Spain this Saturday night as a Leo Messi hat-trick gave them a comfortable 3-0 victory at home to Atletico Madrid.

The win was Barcelona's 16th consecutive league triumph, setting a new record for the number of consecutive wins in Spain, beating the previous best of 15 victories, shared by Pep Guardiola's side and the Real Madrid team from the 1960-61 season.

Messi scored after 17 and 28 minutes to put the game under control and finished his hat-trick 10 minutes from time in a match that saw Atletico pay for a lack of first half ambition.

Levante produced the shock of the day with a 1-0 win away to Villarreal. Valdo scored the only goal of the game after 48 minutes to inflict Villarreal's first home defeat of the campaign.

Villarreal never got to grips with a well-organized Levante defense and but for poor finishing the visitors would have won by a greater margin.

Athletic Club Bilbao moved into fifth place with a convincing 3-0 home win over Sporting Gijon. A David Lopez penalty was followed by an excellent goal from Gaizka Toquero and a second half strike from Fernando Llorente in a game in which Athletic's Iker Muniain produced another stunning display.

Espanyol drop to sixth after losing 3-2 in Almeria. Joan Verdu and Alvaro Vazquez scored for Espanyol, but the game was thrown away in a 18 opening spell in which Marcelo Silva, Kala Uche and Hernan Bernadello had put Almeria 3-0 ahead.

Getafe returned to winning ways and Adrian Colunga found the new twice in the 4-1 thrashing of Deportivo la Coruna. Miku and Pedro Rios added the remaining goals.

Miguel Flano opened the scoring for Osasuna in their 1-1 draw against Mallorca, but Chori Castro leveled before the break.

Finally Zaragoza maintained their unbeaten run with a 1-1 draw at home to Racing Santander. Christian Fernandez scored first for Racing, but Said Boutahar equalized for the home team before halftime.

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