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On-fire Peruvian

Pizarro fires maiden Champions League hat-trick

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Claudio Pizarro has had a highly satisfactory last seven days, with five goals and two assists in two matches. He notched a brace in the cup against Kaiserslautern a week ago, but went one better against Lille with a stunning hat-trick in the space of just 15 first-half minutes. Pizza is now up to 20 goals in Europe's elite club competition thanks to his maiden triple strike in the Champions League.

“I've not scored three goals in one half for a long time, so I'm delighted," declared the 34-year-old, who saw the Bundesliga leaders past two important milestones: his goal to make the score 2-0 was FCB's 500th in international competitions, and his third was the club's 300th goal at home in Europe.

“Three goals in the first half is certainly unusual," enthused coach Jupp Heynckes, “he was class." After an injury-plagued start to his second spell at FCB, Pizarro had “a few problems physically," the coach continued, “but he's in good shape now."