Barcelona respond to La Liga title challenge with 5-2 Real Mallorca win

 
Barcelona are back on top of La Liga following a 5-2 win at home to Real Mallorca, thanks to a Lionel Messi hat trick.
 
The visitors did make a fight of it at the Camp Nou, but Barcelona’s attacking trio of Messi, Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann were in fantastic form.
 
French international Griezmann got the balling rolling for La Blaugrana after just seven minutes of action.
 
Marc Ter Stegen’s long ball forward caught out two Mallorca defenders, and Griezmann showed real poise to race clear and slot past Manolo Reina.
 
Barcelona marched on from there, with Messi blasting home his first of the night from 25 yards on 17 minutes.
 
Mallorca did look to respond to wave after wave of Barcelona attacks, with Ante Budimir´s deflected strike brought them back into the game on 36 minutes.
 
However their resistance only lasted six more minutes, as Ivan Rakitic found Messi in space outside the box, and he curled past Reina.
 
Ernesto Valverde’s side had time for a fourth just before the break, thanks to an ingenious finish from Suarez.
 
Frenkie De Jong slipped a through to him inside the box, but despite the attentions of two Mallorca defenders, he produced an instinctive backheeled finish into the top corner.
 
The hosts picked up where they left off after the break, with Reina denying Griezmann and Rakitic just before the hour mark.
 
Budimir added his second of the night, on 64 minutes, heading home a cross from substitute Cucho Hernandez.
 
However there was to be no spectacular late comeback, as Messi sealed his hat trick with 11 minutes to go.
 
Suarez cute pass found him in space just inside the area, and he bulleted home an effort, via Reina’s crossbar.
Tags Antoine Griezmann Lionel Messi Luis Suarez Real Mallorca