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11-21-2010, 12:03 PM #1
La Liga: Messi, Ronaldo shine in big winsLionel Messi scored a hat trick in Barcelona's record 8-0 rout of Almeria, while Cristiano Ronaldo answered with three goals of his own as Real Madrid beat Athletic Bilbao 5-1 to stay top of the Spanish league on Saturday ahead of their upcoming meeting.
Messi continued his impressive recent scoring spree to become only the fourth Barcelona scorer to go over 100 Spanish league goals after starting the triumph with his 17th-minute opener.
He added another in the 37th before pouncing on a loose ball in the 67th for his 13th of the season and 14th goal in eight games in all competitions.
Substitute Bojan Krkic scored twice, while Andres Iniesta and Pedro Rodriguez also netted for the Spanish champion. Santiago Acasiete added an own goal as Barcelona matched its — and the league's — best ever away-win from 51 years ago.
Almeria coach Juan Manuel Lillo was fired right after the game at Juegos Mediterraneos Stadium.
With coach Jose Mourinho watching on from the Santiago Bernabeu stands as he served out a two-game ban, Ronaldo led Madrid after Angel Di Maria slid a pass to Gonzalo Higuain to open for the hosts in the 19th minute.
Mesut Oezil tapped a long pass into the path of the Portugal forward to fire past goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz and make it 2-0 after half an hour. Fernando Llorente, who had two chances kept out including an impressive individual effort early on, volleyed a loose ball home from inside the box for the Basque side just before the break. It was the Spain striker's ninth of the season to trail only Ronaldo and Messi.
But Sergio Ramos restored the two-goal lead with a 57th-minute penalty earned by Di Maria then Ronaldo surprised Iraizoz with a dipping free kick from over 30 meters out....being a human...