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Higuaín matches Messi to keep Barça at bay

Published: Monday 15 March 2010
Lionel Messi scored all the goals in FC Barcelona's 3-0 win against Valencia CF only for fellow Argentinian Gonzalo Higuaín to hit a hat-trick of his own and send Real Madrid CF back to the top.
Higuaín matches Messi to keep Barça at bay
Gonzalo Higuaín now has 19 Liga goals this season ©Getty Images
Published: Monday 15 March 2010

Higuaín matches Messi to keep Barça at bay

Lionel Messi scored all the goals in FC Barcelona's 3-0 win against Valencia CF only for fellow Argentinian Gonzalo Higuaín to hit a hat-trick of his own and send Real Madrid CF back to the top.

Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick as FC Barcelona beat Valencia CF 3-0 but Real Madrid CF returned to the Liga summit shortly after with a 4-1 win at Real Valladolid CF.

Manuel Pellegrini's side, eliminated from the UEFA Champions League by Olympique Lyonnais on Wednesday, kicked off knowing that only victory would enable them to reclaim top spot. Cristiano Ronaldo duly put them in front with a deflected free-kick 28 minutes in before another set-piece, delivered by Rafael van der Vaart, enabled Gonzalo Higuaín to double the lead on the stroke of half-time. Higuaín (52) sprinted clear and slotted in with aplomb soon after the interval and completed his treble 25 minutes from time after Valladolid had pulled one back through Raúl Albiol's own goal.

Barça had been frustrated for 45 minutes by Valencia but were an altogether different animal after the break thanks largely to Messi, but also to Thierry Henry, a half-time replacement for Bojan Krkić. Messi had already struck his first – a delightful run and finish that wrong-footed César Sánchez – and Valencia been reduced to ten men when Hedwiges Maduro (69) was dismissed, by the time Henry's influence came to the fore.

The France striker first played a perfect cross-field pass to Messi that the 22-year-old took in a stride that barely broke before a precise, curling shot on 81 minutes. Henry's next assist owed far more to subtlety and received an appropriate finish, Messi dinking past Sánchez to wrap up the points after Nikola Žigić had wasted the visitors' best chance when one-on-one with Víctor Valdés.

Elsewhere, CD Tenerife eased their relegation worries with a 4-1 win against RCD Espanyol, Villarreal CF beat rock-bottom Xerez CD 2-0, Málaga CF lost 1-0 at UD Almería and Real Racing Racing Club drew 0-0 with Real Zaragoza.

Last updated: 30/11/12 13.15CET

Results

Spanish Liga 2009/10

Matches
HomeAway
Last updated: 03/07/2011 05:00 CET

14/03/2011

GetafeGetafe2-2AthleticAthletic

Manu 58, 69 (o.g.), 84

Vera Mateos 90+4

Venue: Madrid

13/03/2011

SevillaSevilla1-1BarcelonaBarcelona

Jesús Navas 49

Bojan Krkić 30

Venue: Sevilla

13/03/2011

VillarrealVillarreal1-1Sporting GijónSporting Gijón

Rossi 29

Diego Castro 90+2 (p)

Venue: Castellon

13/03/2011

Real SociedadReal Sociedad0-2MálagaMálaga

Duda 25, Rondón 58

Venue: San Sebastian

13/03/2011

OsasunaOsasuna3-1RacingRacing

Kike Sola 20, Nekunam 24 (p), Soriano 50

Rosenberg 52

Venue: Pamplona

13/03/2011

LevanteLevante1-1MallorcaMallorca

Juanlu Gómez 37

Ramis 60

Venue: Valencia

13/03/2011

EspanyolEspanyol2-0DeportivoDeportivo

Alonso 62, Verdú 81

Venue: Barcelona

12/03/2011

ZaragozaZaragoza4-0ValenciaValencia

Jarošík 5, Herrera 40, Gabi 65 (p), 75 (p)

Venue: Zaragoza

12/03/2011

Real MadridReal Madrid2-0HérculesHércules

Benzema 24, 56

Venue: Madrid

12/03/2011

AlmeríaAlmería2-2AtléticoAtlético

Crusat 49, Goitom 77

Agüero 39, 61

Venue: Almeria

Standings

Related information

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