Messi is La Liga's youngest to score 200
ESPN.com news services
January 27, 2013
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BARCELONA, Spain -- Lionel Messi scored four goals to pass the 200-mark in the Spanish league, leading Barcelona to a 5-1 rout of Osasuna on Sunday night.

With his 22nd hat trick for Barcelona and fifth game of four goals or more, Messi increased his La Liga goals total to 202. The 25-year-old became the youngest player in La Liga history to reach 200 goals, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

He is the eighth player to reach 200, joining Telmo Zarra (251), Hugo Sanchez (234), Raul Gonzalez (228), Alfredo di Stefano (227), Cesar Rodriguez (223), Quini (219) and Pahino (210).

Messi has 44 goals this season, including 33 in La Liga.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 20th career hat trick in an 11-minute span to lead defending champion Real Madrid over Getafe 4-0.

Barcelona hosts Real on Wednesday in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semifinals.

"We went out there and took care of business like always," Messi said. "It was important to put the game away because it isn't easy when everyone is talking so much about the 'clasico'."

Barcelona (19-1-1) has an 11-point lead over second-place Atletico Madrid (15-3-2), which was at Athletic Bilbao later Sunday. Real Madrid (13-4-4) trails Barcelona by 15 points.

Messi's first goal came in the 11th, when Xavi Hernandez intercepted goalkeeper Andres Fernandez's pass and found the Argentine forward, who brought the keeper to the ground with the subtlest of feints before rolling the ball home. That extended Messi's scoring streak to his last 16 starts.

Midfielder Raoul Loe surprisingly levelled for Osasuna in the 24th, but the visitors' celebration was short lived.

Defender Alejandro Arribas received his second booking for blocking Adriano's strike with his arm, leaving his team with 10 men and Messi walking up to the penalty spot. Messi slotted the ball just inside the post to restore Barcelona's lead for good in the 27th.

After Messi had hit the post with a header, Pedro Rodriguez finished off a pass from Dani Alves to make it 3-1 in the 40th from a move again started by Xavi.

David Villa then participated in Messi's goals in the 56th and 58th, first working a one-two combination with the four-time world player of the year for him to score from an angle. Villa then made a back pass that Adriano sent on to Messi, who tapped in his fourth goal of the night.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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