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FC Barcelona forward Lionel Messi's hat-trick blew the Spanish title race wide open as Sunday's Clasico against Real Madrid produced a stunning conclusion to a remarkable weekend of action across the continent.
FC Barcelona's 4-3 victory over FC Real Madrid in the Bernabeu left La Liga heading for a three-way fight to the finish with Atletico Madrid ending the weekend top of the standings.
Premier League leaders Chelsea put six past Arsenal in a high-scoring weekend in the Premier League which also saw chasers to Liverpool and Manchester City run riot.
FC Bayern Munich Munich moved to the brink of the Bundesliga title as Juventus and Paris St Germain marched on in Italy and France.
Lionel Messi's hat-trick gave FC Barcelona a 4-3 comeback win against 10-man FC Real Madrid in a breathtaking Clasico to leave the title race on a knife edge.
FC Barcelona took a seventh-minute lead at the Bernabeu through Andres Iniesta before a Karim Benzema double and Messi's first of the night made it 2-2 at the break.
Cristiano Ronaldo put FC Real Madrid ahead from the penalty spot 10 minutes after halftime after he was tripped by Daniel Alves but the match turned when Real skipper Sergio Ramos was sent off for clipping Neymar when he was through on goal.
Messi, the all-time top scorer in 'Clasicos' with 21 goals, tucked home the resulting penalty and struck the winner from the spot six minutes from time after Iniesta was bundled down.
With nine games left, Real have 70 points, level with city neighbours Atletico Madrid who won 2-0 at bottom side Real Betis, and one ahead of third-placed Barca.
Leaders Chelsea F.C. humbled 10-man Arsenal F.C. 6-0, Liverpool F.C. and Manchester City F.C. also notched up big wins and Wayne Rooney's spectacular strike from over 50 metres was one of 42 goals scored in England's top flight.
Arsene Wenger's 1,000th game as Arsenal manager was ruined by a ruthless Chelsea performance at Stamford Bridge in a game also notable for a bizarre refereeing decision which led to the wrong Arsenal player being sent off.
Luis Suarez bagged a hat-trick as Liverpool came from behind to crush Cardiff City 6-3 and Manchester City's Yaya Toure struck three times to inspire his side to a 5-0 rout of Fulham.
Chelsea lead the table by four points from Liverpool, who have a game in hand, with Man City F.C. two points further back but with three matches in hand on