Lionel Messi Scores a Hat Trick Without Cheating (Barcelona vs Espanyol)

Unlike his buddy/rival Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi doesn’t need to dive and cheat his way in order to get a hat trick. He simply has to be himself, and with a little help from his friends score his third in four matches to lead Barcelona to a 5-1 win over Espanyol in the derby.

Despite conceding early from Sergio Garcia, Barcelona equalized before half time (Messi of course) and then took the lead early in the second half, completely controlling the game from start to finish, and finally finding a way into the box and the net in the second half.

Messi’s first goal came off a Xavi assist, locating the Argentine waiting outside the box and then sending a low curler to the left corner, equalizing the match just before the half time whistle. The second goal was similar with Luis Suarez setting it up, before Messi came early to the ball, beating two players and putting Barcelona in the lead.

He finished the job with a hat trick after the match was over. Barcelona had a three goal lead at this point, and were simply having fun, maybe warming up for their match against PSG. A great one-two with Neymar resulted in the fifth goal, and another moment of Messi basking in the shrine of adoration to him at the Camp Nou.

Unlike Cristiano Ronaldo, scoring a hat trick just under 24 hours earlier, Messi didn’t need the penalty spot, or to pull off an embarrassing dive to cheat his way into scoring.