With 13th hat trick, Messi boosts goals to 199

AP, Sunday 30 Oct 2011

Lionel Messi got his 13th career hat trick during an 18-minute spell in the first half and took his career total to 199 goals, leading Barcelona over Mallorca 5-0 Saturday in the Spanish league

Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates his third goal against Mallorca (Photo: Reuters)

Messi’s goal drought of three matches had raised concern in Spain, but he converted a penalty kick in the 13th minute, tapped in Adriano’s mis-hit in the 21st and knocked in Dani Alves’ cross in the 30th. Messi has 19 goals in 17 games this season, including a league-high 13, and with 132 league goals moved into second place on Barcelona career list ahead of Laszlo Kubala (131) and trailing only Cesar Rodriguez (195).

“It seems crazy to me to say that I’m in a crisis after just three games without a goal,” Messi said. “There’s no pressure as long as the team keeps winning.”

Twenty-year-old Isaac Cuenca scored his first goal for Barcelona in his second start, and Daniel Alves added the final goal. Barcelona improved to 11-0-5 overall this season and outscored opponents 48-10.

Gonzalo Higuain’s ninth-minute goal gave Real Madrid a 1-0 win at Real Sociedad that moved it into first place. Real Madrid (8-1-1) has 25 points, one more than Barcelona (7-0-3). Levante (7-0-2) is at Osasuna on Sunday.

Villarreal beat Rayo Vallecano 2-0 on goals by Bruno and Borja Valero to end an eight-game winless streak, and Valencia beat Getafe 3-1.

LONDON (AP)—Manchester City beat Wolverhampton 3-1 and stayed five points ahead of Manchester United at the top of the Premier League. Chelsea lost ground on the leaders with a 5-3 defeat against visiting Arsenal in which Robin van Persie had a hat trick.

City (9-0-1) overcame a second-half red card for Vincent Kompany in its victory, and defending champion United (7-1-2) won 1-0 at Everton (3-5-1). Everton, which lost a League Cup game against Chelsea that went to overtime less than 72 hours earlier, looked sluggish. United dominated without testing American goalkeeper Tim Howard.

In addition to Van Persie, Arsenal had goals from Andre Santos and Theo Walcott. This was Arsenal’s best win at Chelsea since 1934. Frank Lampard and John Terry scored for Chelsea.

“You could see how happy we are at the end because we fought hard and every one of us showed character,” Van Persie said. “It’s a big, big win for us today.”

Arsenal has 16 points, three fewer than third-place Chelsea.

Liverpool won 2-0 at West Bromwich Albion; Blackburn drew 3-3 with Norwich; Aston Villa drew 2-2 at Sunderland; and Swansea beat Bolton 3-1. Fulham won 2-0 at Wigan with American midfielder Clint Dempsey scoring his third league goal of the season and fifth overall to put the Cottagers ahead in the 42nd minute.

MILAN (AP)—Claudio Marchisio scored a tiebreaking goal in the 33rd minute to keep Juventus in the Serie A lead with a 2-1 win at struggling Inter Milan in the Derby d’Italia.

Mirko Vucinic put Juventus ahead in the 12th minute, but Maicon tied it in the 28th. Marchisio scored his fourth league goal of the season.

Juventus (5-0-4) has 19 points, two ahead of AC Milan (5-2-2), which won 3-2 at Roma.

Defending champion Milan, which had won only twice at the Stadio Olimpico in the past 14 years, got goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the 17th and 78th minutes, and Alessandro Nesta in the 30th.

Nicolas Burdisso scored in the 28th minute for Roma, and Bojan Krkic got a goal in the 87th.

Napoli, which had been even on points with Milan, lost 2-1 at Catania.

BERLIN (AP)—Mario Gomez scored twice and Bayern Munich beat Nuremberg 4-0 to open a four-point lead in the Bundesliga. Defending champion Borussia Dortmund was held to a 1-1 draw at Stuttgart.

Gomez, the league’s top scorer, struck in the second minute and again in the 68th. Bastian Schweinsteiger scored in the 19th minute and Franck Ribery in the 39th.

Serdar Tasci scored in the 22nd for Stuttgart, but Lukasz Piszczek tied it during first-half injury time.

Schalke beat Hoffenheim 3-1 to climb to second place, one point ahead of Dortmund. Hertha Berlin won 3-2 at Wolfsburg and Borussia Moenchengladbach downed Hannover 2-1. Moenchengladbach climbed to fourth place after its first win in four games thanks to two goals from Marco Reus.

Bayern hosts Napoli in the Champions League on Wednesday.

PARIS (AP)—Paris Saint-Germain (9-1-2) beat Caen 4-2 to keep a three-point lead over Montpellier (8-2-2) in the French league.

Defender Thomas Heurtaux headed in a corner kick in the 12th minute to give Caen the lead, but PSG midfielder Nene converted a penalty kick in the 20th after Benjamin Nivet had fouled him and was ejected.

Jeremy Menez put PSG ahead 2-1 in the 55th, and Nene made another penalty kick in the 76th following a foul by Nicolas Seube. After Jerry Vandam cut the lead to 3-2 by heading in a corner kick in the 82nd, Javier Pastore scored the final goal in the 88th.

Montpellier beat Nancy 2-0 on second-half goals from Olivier Giroud and Souleymane Camara.

GLASGOW, Scotland (AP)—Rangers won 2-1 at Aberdeen to keep its nine-point lead at the top of the Scottish Premier League, while Celtic slipped further off the pace with a 0-0 draw against Hibernian.

Kyle Lafferty and Nikica Jelavic scored in the second half to maintain Rangers’ advantage over second-place Motherwell, which won 3-2 at last-place Inverness.

But Celtic slipped 12 points behind the defending champions with its disappointing home draw against a team it beat 4-1 in midweek League Cup play. Hibernian is just four points above last place.

Dundee United won 4-1 at Dunfermline and Kilmarnock won 1-0 at Hearts.

ATHENS, Greece (AP)—Vangelis Mantzios and Giorgos Georgiou scored in a three-minute spa, rallying OFI from two goals down for a 2-2 draw at defending champion Olympiakos in the Greek league.

Rafik Djebbour and Kevin Mirallas had put Olympiakos ahead.

First-place Atromitos, a 2-1 winner over Panionios, has 16 points from eight games. Olympiakos is second with 14 points, but with two games in hand.

In the day’s other game, Panaitolikos and Xanthi drew 1-1.

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