Barcelona equal La Liga record with 38 match unbeaten run

Ernesto Valverde's side have matched a record that extends back nearly three decades with their historic unbeaten run

Barcelona's incredible unbeaten run in La Liga has now reached historic levels, with Lionel Messi's majestic display on Saturday helping the club's run without a loss in La Liga hit 38 matches.

Messi was instrumental once again for the Catalans, scoring a hat-trick to lead his side to a 3-0 win over Leganes.

The win helped the club match the 38-game unbeaten streak achieved by Real Sociedad between 1978 and 1980, which has stood alone as the record for nearly 30 years.

Barcelona have won 24 and drawn just seven of their league matches this season and, with Saturday's result, are now 12 points clear of second-placed Atletico Madrid in the table, with Diego Simeone's side facing a Madrid derby on Sunday as the game they hold in hand.

Barca's last La Liga loss came on April 8, 2017, against Malaga in a match that saw Neymar sent off as part of a 2-0 loss.

Although La Real managed to set the unbeaten record, Barca's is rather more impressive for a host of reasons.

First of all, their haul of 31 wins in that period is 10 better than the Basque side, while they have also scored a whopping 46 more goals.

Barca's top scorer over their 38 games has - unsurprisingly - been Messi with 39, ably supported by Luis Suarez's 27-goal haul.

The Argentine's hat-trick on Saturday was his 40th for the club across all competitions, and the he became the first La Liga player to score from outside the box in six consecutive matches since the 2003/2004 season and the first player in the league to score from six direct free kicks in a season since Ronaldinho in 2007.

MORE: Majestic Messi too important to be rested by Barca | Messi equals Ronaldinho's free-kick record with latest stunner | Ronaldinho: Messi's better than Ronaldo & I'd love to play with him one more time!

Barcelona return to Champions League action midweek, with the side carrying a 4-1 lead into the second leg of their quarter-final clash with Roma.