MADRID: Lionel Messi scored four goals to take his La Liga tally to 50 this season as Barcelona hammered Espanyol 4-0 early this morning in an emotional last game at the Nou Camp for outgoing coach Pep Guardiola.
Messi netted twice from the penalty spot, once from a free kick and the other was a low finish into the corner following a thrilling breakaway.
After scoring his fourth from the spot, a record 72nd goal in all competitions this season, the World Player of the Year ran to the touchline and hugged Guardiola as the rest of the squad gathered to join them in a huddle. Second-placed Barca have 90 points with one match left, seven behind champions Real Madrid who won 2-1 at Granada.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a penalty and Granada's David Cortes put through his own net at the end to leave Real on course for a record 100 La Liga points.
Jonas scored in added time to give Valencia a 1-0 home win over regional rivals Villarreal that secured them third place and the last automatic qualifying berth in the Champions League for the third year in a row. Valencia have 61 points and Malaga are fourth on 55.