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ESPN – Barcelona and Messi flying as Real Madrid and Cristiano Ronaldo slump

FC Barcelona outclassed Rayo Vallecano with a 6-1 thumping thanks to a hat trick from Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez's impeccable brace. Barcelona's talisman Lionel Messi has tied Cristiano Ronaldo in most scored goals in La Liga after completing a hat trick against Rayo Vallecano. ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti examines the pressure that Real Madrid's Carlo Ancelotti is facing after conceding the top spot to Barcelona in La Liga. Five things after the latest topsy-turvy weekend's action in La Liga. 1. It's all coming up Barca (and Messi) Helped by Rayo Vallecano's usual self-destructive defending at the Camp Nou, Barcelona led their visitors inside six minutes on Sunday afternoon. Their eventual 6-1 win brought Barca back to the top of the table for the first time since October. Who will win La Liga in 2014-15? Barcelona Real Madrid Atletico Madrid Valencia Someone else 77% Barcelona 19% Real Madrid 2% Atletico Madrid 1% Valencia 1% Someone else $('.article-module.poll[data-poll-id=”4738722″]').each(function(i) { var pollId = $(this).data('poll-id'); FC.Poll.polls[pollId] = new FC.Poll().init($(this), pollId); }); Lionel Messi had one of his quieter games of the season, but still managed a 12-minute hat trick in the second half. Luis Suarez's clinically taken…

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ESPN – Barcelona once again dealing with Copa del Rey drama

ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno believes Barcelona have a real chance to win the treble this season with the trio of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez leading the charge. It's official: Barcelona will face Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey final on May 30th. The Blaugranas booked their place in the final for the fifth time in the last seven seasons by thrashing Villarreal with a convincing 6-2 aggregate score in the semifinals. This exciting matchup between the most historically successful teams in the Spanish knock-out competition, with a combined 49 titles between them, seems to be becoming a bit of a tradition. In fact, the Catalans and Basques competed in…

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ESPN – Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao are familiar Copa del Rey final opponents

ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno believe Barcelona have a real chance to win the treble this season with the trio of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez leading the charge. Luis Enrique says he may play Luis Suarez and Javier Mascherano in their Copa del Rey semi-final second leg against Villareal. At the end of the 2012 Copa del Rey final, when the celebrations had died down, the fans had departed and the press conferences had finished, when the bus waited, engines running, Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola appeared on the pitch at the Vicente Calderon, making his way to the exit. He paused briefly, laid the trophy down among the confetti and posed for one last photograph before walking off through the tunnel. It was past one o'clock in the morning and it was his last match at the club. He wasn't…

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