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Leo hits his 42nd hat-trick; EURO ROUND-UP.

Lionel Messi bagged another treble as Barcelona took full advantage of another slip up from rivals Real Madrid by romping to a 5-0 derby win over Espanyol.

Barca were written off as a club in crisis this summer after losing Neymar to PSG and being outclassed by Real in the Super Cup.

But they are now four points ahead of their title rivals after just three games following another bad weekend at the Bernabeu.

Real drew at home for the second game in a row as they were held 1-1 by Levante.

Barcelona then romped to a thumping victory at the Nou Camp with Messi bagging his 42nd hat-trick for club and country.

The Argentine had a bit of luck for his opener as he looked to be offside before firing past Pau Lopez.

Fortune also smiled on Barca for the second as a clearance bounced off Pape Diop into the path of Jordi Alba who teed-up Messi for a simple finish.

Alba was also the provider for his third before Gerard Pique and Luis Suarez completed the rout.

Real were stunned by Ivi's early opener for Levante and boss Zinedine Zidane admits they left themselves exposed by going "crazy" from the kick-off.

He said: "We have to be patient and not go crazy.

"Certain things can happen in games but it doesn't mean you have to tear your clothes off."

Lucas Vazquez equalised before the break but Real couldn't find a winner and full-back Marcelo saw red for lashing out late on.

Valencia, who drew 1-1 at the Bernabeu before the international break, frustrated the other side of Madrid yesterday in a 0-0 stalemate with Atletico.

Italian champions Juventus kept up their perfect start to the season with a 3-0 win over Chievo.

Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala netted after Perparim Hetemaj's OG.

BRING ON THE IRISH SEE PAGES 66&67

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MESSI scoring sensation

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUSP
Date:Sep 10, 2017
Words:317
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