[SPAIN] Lionel Messi put on his best performance of the season for Barcelona, scoring three second-half goals -- the first two absolute golazos -- in its 3-0 win over Valencia in La Liga action Sunday.
On the first goal, the Argentine beat three defenders, eluding Miguel and then turning Bruno and Angel Dealbert Ibanez inside out on separate moves before slotting the ball home to the near post from a tight angle.
On the second goal, Frenchman Thierry Henry crossed the ball to Messi, who played the ball ahead to himself in space and curled it inside the far post.
On Messi's third goal, he chipped the ball home from close range as the Valencia defense fell apart.
Bu this point, Valencia had lost Dutchman Hedwiges Maduro, who was red-carded for two bookable offenses on Messi.
The win kept Barcelona tied with Real Madrid for first place.
Real beat Valladolid, 4-1, thanks to Argentine Gonzalo Higuain's hat trick and Cristiano Ronaldo's goal from a free kick.