Originally posted on Fox Soccer  |  Last updated 9/1/13
Barcelona 's Lionel Messi needed 41 minutes to score a hat trick at Valencia in a thrilling 3-2 victory for the defending Spanish league champions. s 0-0 draw against Atletico Madrid earlier this week that he wanted Messi and Neymar to link up more in attack. Martino got what he had asked for when Neymar picked out Messi arriving down the middle of the area to slice his pass into the net for his league-leading fifth goal in two games after sitting out one match due to a muscle problem. But just when it appeared Barcelona would romp, Valencia striker Helder Postiga used an acrobatic volley to pull one back in the 44th before he scored with a header from a corner kick in first-half injury time. Neymar was involved twice more in almost getting Messi another goal, only to see the Argentine miss both late chances before Valencia substitute Jonas hit the post four minutes from time.
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