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Messi treble inspires Barca to 5-1 rout of Rayo Vallecano

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London: Lionel Messi scored his 35th hat-trick as Barcelona extended their record unbeaten run to 35 matches with 5-1 win over nine-man Rayo Vallecano in La Liga clash.

Ivan Rakitic put the Catalan giants ahead in the 22nd minute before the Argentine talisman levelled Cristiano Ronaldo on 35 trebles in all competitions, the Guardian reported.

Alberto Manucho also pulled one back for Rayo before Arda Turan scored his first goal for the club to complete the rout.

Rayo also saw Diego Llorente and Manuel Iturra given marching orders for their tackles on Rakitic and Sergio Busquets respectively.

With the win, Barca restored an eight-point lead at the top over Atletico Madrid. (ANI)

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