Barcelona: Víctor Valdés; Dani Alves,
Piqué, Milito, Maxwell; Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta (Jeffren 86'); Messi
(Touré Yaya 88'), Bojan (Henry 46'), Pedro. 4-3-3.
Valencia: César; Miguel, Maduro, Dealbert, Bruno (Baraja 76'); Albelda (Manuel Fernandes 43'), Banega; Pablo Hernández, David Silva, Jordi Alba; Chori Domíngez (Zigic 64'). 4-2-3-1.
1-0. 56. Messi. Cut past three defenders and steered shot inside near post.
2-0. 81. Messi. Picked up Henry pass and cut past two defenders to score.
3-0. 82. Messi. Ran on to Henry pass and curled shot wide of César.
Yellow cards: Banega 46', Maduro 53', 68', Delabert 61', Bruno 70', Zigic 89' / red cards: Maduro 68'.
Barcelona beat third placed Valencia 3-0 on Sunday evening, thanks largely to a spectacular second half hat-trick from Messi. The visitors had the better of the opening minutes, Jordi Alba heading an early chance over and Pablo Hernández bringing a couple of saves out of Víctor Valdés. Messi tested César at the other end and then set up Pedro for him to shoot wide, but otherwise the locals were disappointing, and Guardiola gave orders from the stands to replace an off-form Bojan with Henry. Ten minutes after the restart though Messi picked up the ball outside of the area and ghosted past three defenders to send César the wrong way and open the scoring. Valdés had to make a vital save from substitute Zigic, but soon afterwards the visitors were left with ten men when Maduro picked up a second yellow card. And with ten minutes to go Messi picked up two passes from Henry within a minute to score two more impressive goals to wrap things up.