Argentine master scores twice besides setting up Neymar's hat-trick as Barcelona pump in half-a-dozen goals against a hapless Granada
Madrid: Lionel Messi grabbed his 400th career goal while Neymar smashed a hat-trick as Barcelona stormed back to the top of La Liga with a 6-0 thrashing of Granada on Saturday night.
Bang on target: Barcelona's Lionel Messi shoots to score against Granada CF at Camp Nou on Saturday night. Pic/Getty Images
Barca stretched their run of consecutive clean sheets to seven games as Messi and Neymar shone. "Messi is someone who has been touched by a magic wand and he is desperate to enjoy playing football," said Barca boss Luis Enrique.
After a slow start Barca took the lead on 26 minutes as Neymar was gifted the ball inside the Granada half and surged forward before seeing his effort deflect pass the helpless Roberto via Jean-Sylvain Babin.
Messi then crossed right-footed for Ivan Rakitic to head home, following which Neymar tapped into an empty net to make it 3-0.
Barca continued to dominate after the break and Alves provided Messi a fine cross to head home. Messi returned to being the provider for Neymar to complete his hat-trick with a cut-back that the Brazilian dispatched low past Roberto.
Messi rounded off a fine afternoon by robbing the Granada defence of possession and running through to slot home his fifth goal of the season and the 400th of his career.