Valverde delights at Barca record

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.

Ernesto Valverde's side moved 12 points clear at the top of the table, extended their unbeaten league run this season to 31 matches and equalled a LaLiga record of 38 games unbeaten - set by Real Sociedad between 1979 and 1980.

After starting on the bench last weekend, Messi returned to the starting line up while Andre Gomes was handed a surprising start.

The youngster went on to add praise for his teammate Lionel Messi and how he shares the dressing room with the Argentine superstar, "It's great to play with Messi, and for me, it is a pleasure to be able to share a dressing room with the type of players who have won everything. We have lost a lot of our offensive potential but we have improved in defence", Messi said earlier in this season. In each one of theses games, except against Girona, Barca turned their fortunes around with the help of goals scored in the second half, while 49 of the team's 79 goals in the campaign have come after halftime.

"The feeling that I have during games is bad". "Obviously they're important numbers, but we have to win or draw against Leganes first".

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Barcelona will have the chance to own that record outright next time out when they welcome Valencia to Camp Nou on Saturday.

Sevilla, who also scored an own goal in their midweek Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich and have now lost four of their last five matches, nearly levelled things up three minutes before the break but Sandro Ramirez's volley was kept out by goalkeeper Sergio.

However, unlike Real who failed to win the league in the 1979/80 season, Barcelona stayed on course for a 25th La Liga title. "There's no need to think about any other games".

His mood will have lifted in the wake of his latest display, with Gomes helping to cover the absence of World Cup victor Sergio Busquets in the heart of Barcelona's midfield.

  • Lawrence Cooper