Barcelona 3-1 Leganes: 3 things Barca did right

Lionel Messi single-handedly eliminated Arsenal from the Champions League in 2010

Lionel Messi was at his brilliant best with a hat-trick as Barcelona defeated Leganes 3-1 at Camp Nou to equal the all-time LaLiga unbeaten record.

Barca are now 12 points clear of nearest challengers Atletico Madrid at the top of the table ahead of Diego Simeone's side facing city rivals Real Madrid in Sunday's derby, as title glory moves closer for the Catalans with only seven games to go.

Barcelona head to Roma for the second leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday.

Messi did the damage in the first half, curling home a sublime free-kick in the 27th minute - his sixth goal directly from a free-kick this season - before firing in a second five minutes later.

Gomes has started just six La Liga and Champions League matches this season, being used for a combined 732 minutes when accounting for substitute appearances.

Barcelona will overtake that mark with a win over Valencia on Saturday.

Barcelona kept their quest for becoming the La Liga king this season and are doing so in an invincibility manner having not lost any game this season. Summer signing Ousmane Dembele has offered an extra outlet of pace after recovering from injury, while the arrival of Philippe Coutinho in January added another layer of class to a group of players already sizzling with quality.

Sergio Busquets is the first candidate for a rest after being rushed back on Wednesday suffering a broken bone in his foot, while Andres Iniesta will also be rested, with Phillipe Coutinho and either Paulinho and Ivan Rakitic in the starting 11. Messi provided the cross for Gerard Pique's late leveller at Espanyol and last weekend hammered in an 89th minute equaliser at Sevilla to complete a quick-fire comeback from two goals down, prompting coach Valverde to remark: "Every time he touches the ball, he is decisive".

The second goal came from open play, but once again the Argentinian looked simply unstoppable.

That isn't meant to expose Barca's weakness without Messi.

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