Messi scores 4 to send Guardiola off with victory

AP, Saturday 5 May 2012

Barcelona smashed Espanyol 4-0, while Real Madrid won 2-1 at Granada

Barcelona striker Messi

Lionel Messi scored four times to take his season tally to an unprecedented 72 goals and give Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola a 4-0 win over crosstown rival Espanyol in his last home game at Camp Nou Stadium on Saturday.

Messi's scoring display was a fitting farewell for the coach who helped the Argentina forward become the world's best player and forged Barcelona into one of the best teams to have played football.

After scoring his Spanish league-record 50th goal late on, Messi embraced Guardiola on the sideline, who is leaving after 13 titles in four seasons.

Madrid, which clinched the league title in the last round, won 2-1 at Granada thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo's 45th league goal and David Cortes' late own goal.

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