Skip to main content

Lionel Messi hat-trick inspires Barcelona while Real Madrid also wins

September 2, 2013 -- Updated 0012 GMT (0812 HKT)
Valencia couldn't stop Lionel Messi on Sunday at the Mestalla as the Argentine scored three first-half goals.
Valencia couldn't stop Lionel Messi on Sunday at the Mestalla as the Argentine scored three first-half goals.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Lionel Messi scores three first-half goals for Barcelona on the road against Valencia
  • Valencia rallied to make the game close thanks to two goals from Helder Postiga
  • Luka Modric and Isco starred for Real Madrid in a 3-1 win over Athletic Bilbao
  • In Germany, Champions League runner-up Borussia Dortmund also stayed perfect

(CNN) -- On the day that Gareth Bale commanded headlines by joining Real Madrid in a big-money move, Lionel Messi made news by scoring a hat-trick for Barcelona in a 3-2 win against Valencia.

Messi's treble was his 23rd in the league for Barcelona and handed the away side a 3-0 advantage within 41 minutes at the Mestalla.

Barcelona then had to hang on at times after Helder Postiga netted a brace just before halftime. The home side also had a pair of penalty appeals waved away by the referee.

"We could have ended with a 3-3, 2-3 or 2-5," Barcelona manager Gerardo Martino told the club website. "Regardless of what could have happened I would leave here very pleased with how the team played. We found what we were looking for."

Read: Bale deal finally done

Cesc Fabregas set up Messi's first two goals after good work from holding midfielder Sergio Busquets, and summer signing Neymar linked up with the Argentine on the third.

Brazilian forward Neymar and Messi started together for the first time in the league after neither found the net in the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup last week.

"There was concern about how Neymar and Messi were going to interact on the pitch after they played their first match together," Martino said. "They fixed that in less than 24 hours."

Barcelona has won all three of its league games, like arch-rival Real Madrid.

Several hours before Bale's deal was announced, Madrid defeated Athletic Bilbao 3-1.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first goal -- Messi has five -- with a header from Angel di Maria's perfect cross.

But it was 21-year-old Spanish international Isco and Bale's former teammate at Tottenham, Luka Modric, who earned praise from Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti.

Isco, a summer arrival from Malaga, accounted for the two other goals and Modric impressed with his work rate in midfield.

"He was fantastic," Ancelotti told Madrid's website, referring to Modric.

Switching to Isco, Ancelotti added: "He is playing very well and he makes it look like he's been here for years. He has character and ability and that is very important for us."

Dortmund on a roll

Only one team in the Bundesliga remains unbeaten through four games -- and it's Borussia Dortmund.

Dortmund beat Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 thanks to a double from midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Lionel Messi breaks goal scoring record
Messi claims fourth Ballon d'Or

Mkhitaryan scored his first two goals for Dortmund after his $35 million transfer from Shakhtar Donetsk.

It wasn't a vintage display by the Champions League runner-up but manager Jurgen Klopp wasn't arguing with the result.

"We have to play better football, there's no question," Klopp was quoted as saying by AP. "I've seen a few weaknesses in our build-up play and ideally we need to defend better. Still, with 12 points after four games, this is complaining at a high level."

Defending champion Bayern Munich trails Dortmund by two points.

In Ligue 1, Monaco moved atop the table with a 2-1 win over previously unbeaten Marseille. Marseille led 1-0 at home before Radamel Falcao and Emmanuel Riviere scored in the second half.

Falcao and Riviere have already combined for eight goals this term.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
August 15, 2014 -- Updated 1151 GMT (1951 HKT)
Last season Jose Mourinho wrote off the title of hopes of his "little horse" -- but now he has a squad primed to dethrone Manchester City.
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 1858 GMT (0258 HKT)
Luis Suarez will have to wait until late October to make his competitive Barcelona debut his ban for biting an opponent was partially upheld.
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 1649 GMT (0049 HKT)
Can Louis van Gaal cut it at Manchester United? Will Bayern conquer all in Germany? Is this PSG's year to win the Champions League?
August 7, 2014 -- Updated 1012 GMT (1812 HKT)
It's been a difficult year for Barcelona on and off the pitch, and the signing of Luis Suarez has only increased the prospect of more controversy.
August 11, 2014 -- Updated 1435 GMT (2235 HKT)
Germany striker Miroslav Klose, who scored a total of 16 goals at four World Cup finals, has announced his retirement from international football.
July 31, 2014 -- Updated 1145 GMT (1945 HKT)
Cultural y Deportivo Leonesa line up in their tuxedo kit.
When celebrating an important anniversary, it's always good to look your best. At least that's theory for a Spanish football team's preseason tuxedo kit.
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1103 GMT (1903 HKT)
While many top European clubs are targeting the U.S. market, French football is setting its sights on expanding into Asia -- with China playing a key role.
July 27, 2014 -- Updated 1229 GMT (2029 HKT)
Major League Soccer has snared another big name from England with former Chelsea star Frank Lampard committing his future to New York City FC.
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 1656 GMT (0056 HKT)
Europe's top clubs have booked a summer holiday to the U.S. -- but this is business not pleasure as they look to cash in on the World Cup afterglow.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1828 GMT (0228 HKT)
Brazil's new coach Dunga won the World Cup as a player in 1994.
Former World Cup-winning captain Dunga is appointed coach of Brazil's national team for the second time, charged with restoring national pride.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1420 GMT (2220 HKT)
Colombia's World Cup star James Rodriguez continues Real Madrid's long tradition of signing "Galacticos."
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1007 GMT (1807 HKT)
Germany's World Cup-winning captain Philipp Lahm has decided to go out at the top by announcing his retirement from international football.
ADVERTISEMENT