Barcelona, Spain (SportsNetwork.com) - Lionel Messi enjoyed a historic day at Camp Nou on Sunday, netting a hat trick to become Barcelona's all-time highest scorer while leading his team to an emphatic 7-0 victory over Osasuna.
The pressure was on the Catalans to pick up three points after Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid won their respective matches on Saturday, and the reigning champions did just that thanks to a superb outing from Messi, who has netted 371 for Barcelona across all competitions.
The Argentine wasted little time in getting Barcelona on board as he broke the deadlock just 18 minutes into the match by turning in a low cross at the near post.
Alexis Sanchez doubled Barcelona's lead shortly after by tucking home Jordi Alba's square cross in the 22nd minute, and Andres Iniesta made it three before halftime when he found the back of the net with a sublime left-footed strike in the 34th minute.
Barcelona continued to terrorize the Osasuna defense on the other side of interval as Messi converted a shot through traffic in the 63rd minute, while Christian Tello made it five in the 78th minute with a right-footed shot that curled just inside the far post.
Messi completed his hat trick two minutes from time when he took a pass from Dani Alves and slotted a shot into the bottom corner with a cool finish. Pedro added an exclamation point to the final result by tacking on a seventh goal for Barcelona in the first minute of stoppage time.
The Catalans climb to 66 points to move back to within four points of first- place Real Madrid.
Elsewhere in the Spanish top flight on Sunday, Sevilla cruised to a 4-1 defeat of Valladolid behind a brace from Kevin Gameiro, Imanol Agirretxe produced the lone goal in Real Sociedad's 1-0 defeat of Valencia and Elche was held to a 0-0 home draw by Real Betis.