Messi sets records as Barcelona demolish Huesca

Lionel Messi Luis Suarez Barcelona Betis

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They will need to win by five goals to leapfrog Real Madrid at the top of the table, but that may not be out of the question - these sides last met in 2014 when Barca won 4-0 and 8-1 in the Copa del Rey.

Top-flight debutants Huesca took a shock early lead in their first league visit to the Nou Camp when Colombian forward Cucho Hernandez deflected the ball in from point-blank range but Messi levelled in the 16th, cannoning a shot in off the post.

Rakitic crashed home Messi's ball over the top in the 52nd minute and the latter slid home his second after racing on to Philippe Coutinho's pass nine minutes later.

Manager Ernesto Valverde repeated the same XI that took the field in Valladolid last week, but they took a while to show up because within minutes Huesca were ahead 1-0.

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There was no way back for the Aragonese outfit when Messi scored his second of the game after the hour mark, before Jordi Alba made it 7-2.

Messi sent a free kick just wide of the Huesca post in the 78th minute as Barcelona searched for a seventh, and it finally arrived in the 81st minute when Alba sent a low effort through the legs of Werner.

Dembele was spared such misfortune as he ran onto a brilliantly played pass from Suarez and fired in past Werner to restore Barcelona's two-goal advantage, 4-2.

Huesca answered nearly immediately back, however, with Alex Gallar turning a low Moi Gomez cross past Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen for 3-2.

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It was all Barcelona the rest of the way and it took just two touches for Messi to extend the lead to 6-2.

Alba, recently left out of Spain's squad by former Barcelona coach Luis Enrique, was in the thick of it again on 39 minutes when he set up Suarez to put Barca 3-1 in front by the 39th minute with his maiden goal of the campaign.

From there, it was mostly a training exercise for Barcelona, who happily batted the ball while probing for chances.

The five-time Ballon d'Or victor struck twice in the 8-2 thumping of Huesca but elected to let Suarez join him on a brace for the game after the Uruguayan won the penalty - something you wouldn't always expect the likes of Neymar or Cristiano Ronaldo to do.

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