Messi helps Barca smash Espanyol

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Barcelona, Spain (SportsNetwork.com) - Lionel Messi netted a hat trick at Camp Nou on Sunday to help Barcelona rally from a one-goal deficit to collect a 5-1 victory over Espanyol.

Espanyol managed to take a shock lead after only 13 minutes as Sergio Garcia broke the deadlock, but Messi pulled one back on the stroke of halftime to level the score.

Barcelona regrouped during the intermission and throttled the visitors in the second half.

Messi provided the go-ahead goal within five minutes of the restart while Gerard Pique made it three in the 5rd minute.

Pedro continued the rout with a goal in the 77th minute before Messi completed his hat trick nine minutes from time, capping a fine comeback from the Catalan club.

Barcelona moves back into second place in the La Liga by improving to 34 points, 20 points better than Espanyol.

Sevilla maintained its fourth-place position on Sunday thanks to a 1-0 defeat of Rayo Vallecano. Carlos Bacca produced the lone goal of the affair, hitting the back of the net with his 10th strike of the league season.

Rounding out Sunday's action, Villarreal scored four goals in the second half at El Madrigal to collect a convincing 4-0 win over Real Sociedad and Success Isaac scored at the death to help Granada salvage a point from a 1-1 draw with Valencia.