Ecuadorian Primera A Review: Blanco inspires Barcelona

Ismael Blanco netted a hat-trick as leaders Barcelona returned to winning ways, trouncing El Nacional 4-1 in the Ecuadorian Primera A.

Barcelona were humbled 4-1 at home to rivals Independiente del Valle last time out - ending a seven-game winning streak in the second phase of competition.

But Barcelona dished out a rout of their own as veteran striker Blanco took home the match ball on Sunday.

Barcelona have collected 25 points from 11 matches, seven more than Independiente, who have three games in hand.

Blanco opened the scoring in the 38th minute at Estadio Olimpico Atahualpa in Quito, poking the ball past the goalkeeper before coolly finishing into an empty net.

The 31-year-old doubled Barcelona's lead five minutes into the second half after firing the ball into the top corner of the net from outside the area.

Tito Valencia reduced the deficit with 18 minutes remaining but Ely Esterilla restored Barcelona's two-goal buffer just seconds later after his free-kick somehow ended up in the net.

And Blanco capped a dominant display in the first minute of injury time as Barcelona made it four straight wins away from home.

Independiente are still hot on the heels of Barcelona following their 4-0 demolition of Deportivo Cuenca on Saturday.

Mario Rizotto scored twice to help preserve Independiente's unbeaten start to the season.

Third-place LDU Quito were held to a 1-1 draw by Mushuc Runa, the latter equalising in the 90th minute via Christian Cordero.

Universidad Catolica made it back-to-back wins with a crushing 4-1 triumph over LDU Loja.

Emelec were awarded a 3-0 win without taking to the field on Sunday after Deportivo Quito were suspended for not paying their debts to various creditors.

Strugglers Manta and Olmedo played out a goalless draw.