Messi and Suarez goals light up Barca

Barcelona's Lionel Messi (l) scored all three goals against Mallorca with brilliant left-foot shots.
Barcelona's Lionel Messi (l) scored all three goals against Mallorca with brilliant left-foot shots.

It was showtime for Barcelona at Camp Nou as they trounced Mallorca 5-2 to retain top spot in Spain's Liga.

Lionel Messi scored a stunning all left-footed hat-trick, the 53rd of his majestic career, and Luis Suarez struck with a breathtaking backheel.

There was even an assist by goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen to Antoine Griezmann's first goal in six Spanish league matches.

With one of their best performances of the season, Barcelona geared up for their delayed Clasico against Real Madrid later this month in style.

Madrid had beaten Espanyol 2-0 earlier on Saturday to provisionally move to the top but Barcelona's win left the teams tied on points and the Catalans ahead on goal difference

The highlight of Barcelona's win was Suarez's 43rd-minute backheel goal, which came after a smart exchange of passes between Frenkie de Jong and Sergi Roberto.

De Jong made the final pass to Suarez who was near the corner of the six-yard box with his back to goal before his audacious effort left everyone gobsmacked.

"I knew I had a difficult angle, my only option was to backheel the ball firmly so it would bounce and make it harder for the goalkeeper," Suarez said.

"It wouldn't be impossible for the ball to go through if it didn't bounce. Luckily it worked and it was a beautiful goal."

Barcelona's dominant performance had started with Griezmann's seventh-minute goal off a long pass by Ter Stegen, who quickly took a goal kick to set up the Frenchman's run from before the half-way line.

Griezmann entered the area and niftly clipped the ball over the 'keeper.

Messi's trio of goals were all brilliantly struck efforts, the first two curling shots into the far post with the last whipping into the near post to wrong-foot Manolo Reina.

His goals completed a 35th league hat-trick, to move clear of Cristiano Ronaldo.

The goal also allowed Messi to take the league's scoring lead with 12 goals, one more than Real Madrid's Karim Benzema who scored in his side's latest win.

Raphael Varane got the opener at the Bernabeu in the first half as the host accoutned for lowly Espanyol.

The result extended Madrid's unbeaten run in all competitions to nine matches and was their fourth-straight league win.

Madrid played the final minutes with 10 men as left-back Ferland Mendy was sent off with a second yellow card in the 83rd.

Elsewhere, Valencia fought back from two goals down to win 4-2 at Levante to move up to seventh while Granada beat Alaves 3-0.

Australian Associated Press