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Football: Messi hat-trick sees Barca past Real in seven-goal thriller

Published on Mar 24, 2014 6:24 AM
Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring during the Spanish league Clasico football match against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu on March 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP 

MADRID (AFP) - Barcelona moved to within a point of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga as they twice came from behind thanks to a Lionel Messi hat-trick to edge a thrilling El Clasico 4-3 at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday, March 23, 2014.

The sides went in level 2-2 at half-time as a record 19th goal against Madrid from Messi cancelled out Karim Benzema's double after Andres Iniesta had put Barca in front.

Cristiano Ronaldo then put Madrid back in front from the penalty spot, but the hosts were reduced to 10-men when Sergio Ramos pulled down Neymar inside the box 10 minutes later and Messi levelled once more from the spot.

And the Argentine won the game with another penalty seven minutes from time after Iniesta had been felled by Xabi Alonso.

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