Barcelona star Lionel Messi struck a stunning four goals as they routed Valencia 5-1.

Messi put third-placed Valencia to the sword on a night when Barcelona won 5-1 and could have scored a dozen but for the efforts of visiting goalkeeper Diego Alves.

Valencia took a surprise lead through Pablo Piatti in the ninth minute, but Barca's response was composed and clinical as they tore the visiting defence to shreds, producing chance after chance as Messi scored twice before half-time and then twice more in the final 15 minutes.

He then found time to help set up Xavi Hernandez for a fifth in injury time.