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Soccer-Pedro hat-trick hands Barca win over Getafe

Reuters

By Tim Hanlon

BARCELONA, Dec 22 (Reuters) - An inspired Pedro fired a first-half hat-trick as an injury-plagued Barcelona came from two goals down to beat Getafe 5-2 and go top of La Liga on goal difference.

The signs looked ominous for the Catalan side after they went 2-0 down within the first 15 minutes after Sergio Escudero and Lisandro Lopez both found the net for Getafe.

With top guns Lionel Messi and Neymar missing through injury and suspension, Pedro took it upon himself to rescue Barcelona.

The Canary Islander chipped keeper Miguel Moya and added two clinical finishes before the break. He also crossed for Cesc Fabregas to volley in the fourth midway through the second half, and was then fouled in the box with Fabregas scoring the penalty.

The battling spirit of Gerardo Martino's side, who were also missing senior players Xavi Hernandez, Victor Valdes and Carles Puyol, shone through as they refused to cave in despite trailing for much of the first half.

Barcelona top the table on 46 points, level with Atletico Madrid, who beat Levante on Saturday, but with a healthier goal record.

Real Madrid, eight points behind, take on Valencia later on Sunday. (tim.hanlon@gmail.com)

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