Messi scores four as Barca jump above defeated Madrid before Clasico
MADRID: Lionel Messi scored four goals and Barcelona reclaimed top spot in La Liga as Real Madrid suffered a surprise defeat by Levante on Saturday, a week before the Clasico.
Madrid’s nightmare afternoon was made worse by another injury to Eden Hazard, who was forced off in the second half of their 1-0 defeat in Valencia and is now doubtful to face Manchester City on Wednesday in the Champions League.
“It doesn’t look good,” said Real coach Zinedine Zidane afterwards.
Messi, meanwhile, ridiculed talk of a drought by scoring four goals against Eibar after four games without one, while emergency signing Martin Braithwaite made two assists off the bench, teeing up Messi and then Arthur Melo in injury-time.
Their 5-0 rout, coupled with Madrid’s defeat, means Barca move back to the summit of La Liga, two points ahead of Zidane’s side ahead of next Saturday’s showdown at the Santiago Bernabeu. – AFP