Press Esc to close
Saturday 29 April 2017
News updated at 4:45 PM IST

Messi double edges six-goal thriller Barca's way

Madrid, Mar 20, 2017, (AFP) 11:08 IST
Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates his second goal. REUTERS

Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates his second goal. REUTERS

Barcelona closed to within two points of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga as Lionel Messi scored twice in a thrilling 4-2 win over 10-man Valencia at Camp Nou.

Earlier, Antoine Griezmann scored a stunning free-kick as Atletico Madrid compounded a week to forget for Sevilla with a 3-1 at the Vicente Calderon yesterday.

Barca needed to come from behind to keep the pressure on Madrid as Eliaquim Mangala headed Valencia in front.

But the on-loan Manchester City defender was sent-off for pulling down Luis Suarez after the Uruguayan had levelled and Messi smashed home the resulting penalty.

Munir El Haddadi briefly levelled for the 10 men before half-time, but Messi and finally Andre Gomes with his first Barca goal sealed the three points.

Madrid still also have a game in hand over their title rivals. Outgoing Barca coach Luis Enrique named the same side that beat Paris Saint-Germain 6-1 10 days ago to progress to the Champions League quarter-finals in stunning fashion.

And whilst not matching that drama, there was no shortage of action as Valencia showed up the defensive flaws in Enrique's new 3-4-3 system.

Messi had already had an effort cleared off the line, whilst Mats-Andre ter Stegen made a stunning save from Carlos Soler at the other end before an action packed final 15 minutes of the first-half saw four goals and a red card.

Barca's weakness from set-pieces was exposed again a week on from conceding twice from corners in a 2-1 defeat at Deportivo la Coruna when Mangala powered home Dani Parejo's corner to open the scoring.

The lead lasted just six minutes as Suarez raced onto Neymar's throw-in to slot into the far corner. Mangala went from hero to villain as he then pulled down Suarez inside the area to concede a penalty and be sent-off.

Messi beat penalty specialist Diego Alves from the spot. However, straight from kick-off Barca were caught cold as Jose Gaya teed up Munir El Haddadi to score against his parent club for the second time this season.

The champions still had 45 minutes to make their man advantage count, though, and they did so despite missing a host of chances after the break. Messi drilled home at Alves's near post seven minutes into the second period for his 41st goal of the season.

Suarez somehow slotted wide with the goal gaping after Alves had denied Messi his hat-trick, whilst Neymar hit the bar. But Barca finally put the game to bed a minute from time when Neymar crossed for Gomes to tap home against his old side.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
A lion beats the heat by relaxing under a tree at Dr Shivaram Karnath Biological Park...

A lion beats the heat by relaxing under a tree at Dr Shivaram Karnath Biological Park...

A fan performs 'Abhiske' of a poster of 'Bahubali 2: The Conclusion' at a cinema hall...

A fan performs 'Abhiske' of a poster of 'Bahubali 2: The Conclusion' at a cinema hall...

Salesperson attends to customer, inside a jewellery showroom during Akshaya Tritiya, a major...

Salesperson attends to customer, inside a jewellery showroom during Akshaya Tritiya, a major...

BCCI COA member Vinod Rai and cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar release author Devendra...

BCCI COA member Vinod Rai and cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar release author Devendra...

Activists of Congress party hold placards and raise slogans during a protest against state...

Activists of Congress party hold placards and raise slogans during a protest against state...

Kempegowda International Airport customs seized Gold Biscuits...

Kempegowda International Airport customs seized Gold Biscuits...

Fireworks at Golden temple on the occasion of the Birth Anniversary of the second Guru...

Fireworks at Golden temple on the occasion of the Birth Anniversary of the second Guru...

Bollywood actor Akshay Khanna during the cremation of his father veteran actor Vinod Khanna...

Bollywood actor Akshay Khanna during the cremation of his father veteran actor Vinod Khanna...

A tiger enjoys water bath on a hot summer afternoon at Surat Zoo...

A tiger enjoys water bath on a hot summer afternoon at Surat Zoo...

Senior Wildlife Veterinarian Sharvan Singh Rathore plays with a Lion Cub ‘Kailash’...

Senior Wildlife Veterinarian Sharvan Singh Rathore plays with a Lion Cub ‘Kailash’...

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523
Powered by Yodasoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.