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Messi fires hat-trick as Barcelona edge 9-goal thriller

updated 7:17 PM EDT, Sat October 20, 2012
Lionel Messi inspired Barcelona to a 5-4 victory over Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday scoring yet another hat-trick.
Lionel Messi inspired Barcelona to a 5-4 victory over Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday scoring yet another hat-trick.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Messi hat-trick inspires Barcelona to 5-4 win over Deportivo La Coruna
  • Real Madrid continue recent good form with 2-0 win against Celta Vigo
  • Malaga maintain grip on third coming from a goal down to beat Real Valladolid 2-1
  • Juventus beat Napoli to go three clear at top of table; AC Milan slump to 3-2 defeat at Lazio

(CNN) -- Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick as Barcelona won a nine-goal thriller, 5-4 against Deportivo La Coruna at the Estadio Municipal de Riazor on Saturday and go three clear at the top of La Liga.

Tito Vilanova's side looked to have the game wrapped up as early as the 18th minute when Lionel Messi scored Barca's third goal after Jordi Alba and Cristain Tello had netted in the opening 10 minutes.

But Deportivo responded with two goals of their own. First, Portugal forward Pizzi converted from the penalty spot in the 26th minute followed by an Alex Bergantinos effort 11 minutes later.

Barca were back in control by halftime as Messi bagged his second of the night to give the visitors a 4-2 lead.

The home side reduced the deficit to one goal immediately after halftime with Pizzi scoring a second before Messi completed his hat-trick in the 77th minute.

His teasing run followed by a thumping low drive past keeper Daniel Aranzubia looked to have finally settled matters. But Jodi Alba's own goal two minutes later once again threw the result into doubt.

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Urged on by their supporters, Deportivo searched for an equalizer but Barcelona clung on for the three points.

Real Madrid enjoyed a comfortable victory 2-0 over Celta Vigo at the Bernabau on Saturday.

A 10th minute goal from Gonzalo Higuain and a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty midway through the second half ensured Jose Mourinho's side continue their rise up the table after a sluggish start to the season.

Madrid have now taken 13 points from their last four league games while newly promoted Celta continue their run of up and down form -- they have yet to draw this season -- and stay on nine points and currently lie 13th in the table.

Malaga bounced back from defeat against Atletico Madrid earlier in the month with a battling 2-1 win over Real Valladolid at the Estadio La Rosaleda.

The visitors took the lead in the ninth minute thanks to Manucho before Isco equalized five minutes before the break.

Valladolid were reduced to 10 men for the final ten minutes of the game when Manucho received a second yellow card for a foul and Malaga took full advantage with Joaquin scoring an 87th-minute winner.

The win means Malaga maintain their grip on third place with 17 points from eight matches.

Second-place Atletico Madrid travel to Real Sociedad on Sunday.

Meanwhile in Serie A, Juventus put daylight between themselves and second-placed Napoli with a 2-0 win.

Uruguay's Jose Caceres and French teenager Paul Pogba both came off the bench to score late goals for the reigning champions and extend their unbeaten record in the league this season while bringing Napoli's to an end.

The win means Juventus are now three points clear at the top of the table having taken 22 points from their opening eight games. Napoli remain in second on 19 points.

Third-placed Lazio moved clear of Inter Milan (who play Catania on Sunday) with a 3-2 win over AC Milan at the Stadio Olimpico.

The home side stormed into a 3-0 lead thanks to goals from Brazilian midfielder Hernanes (25th minute) Antonio Candreva (41st minute) and Miroslav Klose (50th minute).

Read: Lazio hit by UEFA racism fine

Milan looked dead and buried but mounted a spirited comeback with Nigel de Jong pulling a goal back in the 61st minute and striker Stephan El Shaarawy's 79th minute strike setting up a tense climax.

Despite their best efforts, Milan couldn't find an equalizer, leaving last year's runners-up mid-table with just seven points from eight games.

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