Barcelona pounds Atletico Madrid, 5-0

Lionel Messi scored a hat trick to lead Barcelona to a 5-0 win over Atletico Madrid on a night when fellow Spanish league star Cristiano Ronaldo also netted three as 10-man Real Madrid downed Rayo Vallecano 6-2.

The game at Camp Nou stadium was billed as a duel between Atletico’s Radamel Falcao and two-time world player of the year Messi.

But Atletico’s new striker didn’t touch the ball until 30 minutes in, and by then Messi had already followed up David Villa’s opener by forcing an own goal by Miranda and adding a third to set Barcelona on its way to its fifth straight home win over the visitors.

Messi capped the victory with two late goals to pass Ronaldo as the league’s top scorer with eight goals.