La Liga

La Liga Top Five, Round 15: Messi celebrates Ballon d'Or with classy hat-trick

The Argentine won the prestigious award during the week, and is already gunning for next year's!

 
10:00am on Monday 9th December 2019
By
Martin Macdonald
Lionel Messi
W (R), F (C) - Barcelona - 32 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
90'
10
Dec 7, 2019
90Minutes played
3Goals
7Total shots
8Crosses
55Final third passes
14Touches in box
8Duels won
106Touches

Messi won his sixth Ballon d'Or this week, but seems to have set sights on his seventh, with a magnificent display on Saturday as Barcelona beat Mallorca 5-2, with him scoring a customary, glorious, hat-trick. His first two goals were signature, whipped strikes into the left corner from just outside the box, with the first nestling perfectly into the top corner. The hat-trick came seven minutes from time after latching on to a pass from Luis Suarez to smash into the opposite top corner. He sent more passes into the final third than any other player in La Liga on Saturday, and had the second-most touches after team-mate Sergio Roberto.

Joaquín
AM (R), F (C) - Real Betis - 38 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
90'
10
Dec 8, 2019
3Goals
4Total shots
4Shots on target
4Touches in box
3Dribbles
24Passes completed
18Final third passes
5Duels won

38 years of age. Joaquin is 38 and he has become the oldest player in the history of La Liga to score a hat-trick and not only that, he achieved it in the first 21 minutes of the contest against Athletic Bilbao. His three finishes were timeless, each from the left hand side of the area and sent home into the far right corner with ruthless skill. Like Santi Cazorla at Villarreal, some Spanish veterans are showing no intention of ending their careers just yet.

Óscar
M, AM (C) - Leganés - 21 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
87'
9.2
Dec 8, 2019
2Goals
3Total shots
2Shots on target
7Crosses
54Touches
22Passes completed
14Final third passes
1Big chances

There's scoring goals, and then there's scoring goals, and Oscar's two finishes as Leganes defeated Celta in convincing style. His free-kick to open the scoring was absolutely world class, with whip and bend and dip to nestle into the top corner, then minutes later he burst through the lines and when around 25 yards out he curled his effort on the move, once again finding the corner in style. The Real Madrid youngster is showing signs of real potential.

Kevin Gameiro
ST (C) - Valencia - 32 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
79'
9.1
Dec 7, 2019
2Goals
4Total shots
5Final third passes
7Touches in box
4Ball recovered
1Tackles
19Passes
33Touches

Valencia made it two consecutive wins in La Liga after coming back from two behind to beat Levante 4-2, with Gameiro scoring the equaliser before putting them ahead. The first came after some superb work from Rodrigo as he darted down the left wing before flicking a cross over the goalkeeper for his team-mate to nod home from on the line. The second, though, was all Gameiro; after collecting possession a yard inside the box, he proceeded to drill an emphatic finish across goal into the top left corner.

Luis Suárez
S (C) - Barcelona - 32 yrs
90'
8.9
Dec 7, 2019
1Goals
1Assists
8Total shots
1Crosses
31Final third passes
20Touches in box
3Dribbles
58Touches

Messi will rightfully steal the headlines after his hat-trick, but Suarez was in great form too, scoring one of the goals of the season in the process. He ran in behind the Mallorca defence to receive a pass from Frenkie de Jong and then, with his back to goal, bounced a ridiculous back-heel over the challenge of the defender and past the keeper. He also assisted Messi's hat-trick goal with a neat lay-off after holding off the attentions of a couple of defenders.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Rodrigo (8.8) was as important as Kevin Gameiro in Valencia's comeback victory in Levante.

ROUND TO FORGET

Eliseo Falcon (5.0) was poor in the second half as Valencia ran riot.

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