Lionel Messi Completes Magnificent Hat Trick in Win Over Real Betis

Result: Lionel Messi hits stunning hat-trick to send Barcelona 10 points clear
Real Betis vs. FC Barcelona - 3/17/19 LaLiga Pick, Odds, and Prediction
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18 March, 2019

Lionel Messi produced yet another moment of magic for Barcelona on Sunday evening, giving them the lead with a flawless free-kick away to Real Betis.

Messi scored twice in the first half at the Benito Villamarin, his first an unstoppable free-kick and his second coming moments before the interval, with Luis Suarez - who hurt his ankle late on - adding a third after the break.

One wrote: "After all Messi's goals, we identify with the expression of Pau Lopez".

Messi has now scored five goals directly off a free kick across all competitions this season.

The result sees Barca take another giant stride towards defending their La Liga crown and keeps them firmly on course for a potential treble this season.

Betis were happy to open up and nearly took the lead when Joaquin volleyed first-time to the stretching Sergio Canales, but he was unable to connect. Tello's cross went behind Jese but came to the substitute Diego Lainez.

Fans on Twitter enjoyed the Spain keeper's response too, admitting they felt the same way. He scored three goals and could have scored a fourth.

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The goal came from arguably his most hard chance of the lot too as he dribbled his way through three Betis defenders, leaving them in a heap behind him before slotting his finish into the bottom corner.

Messi started the night as he meant to go on, firing home a free-kick right into the top corner.

In the second half he rounded the keeper but his cross-shot was off target, before being sent through again but firing wide.

Messi's three goals helped Barcelona to a 4-1 victory over Real Betis, increasing their huge gap at the top of La Liga. But even for him, the sight of the Real Betis fans were applauding by the end tugged on the heartstrings.

Suarez's sensational backheel pass was perfectly placed into the path of Messi, who was never going to miss, and Barca made certain of their victory in the 63rd minute.

Here's what you need to know about Sunday's match and how to watch.

The Argentine opened scoring with a stunning 17th-minute strike that gave the league leader's an early advantage.


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