Messi stars as Barcelona beat Espanyol

Madrid, Dec 10: Leo Messi was at his mercurial best, scoring with two free kicks and setting up Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele for further goals as FC Barcelona extended their lead at the top of La Liga with a 4-0 win away to local rivals Espanyol.

Messi opened the scoring with a magnificent free kick in the 16th minute on Sunday and created space for Ousmane Dembele to curl home Barca's second of the game, reports Xinhua news agency.

Luis Suarez added a third on the stroke of halftime to virtually assure the win and Messi put the icing on the cake with another brilliant free kick with 25 minutes left to play.

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