Press Esc to close
Saturday 25 March 2017
News updated at 2:31 AM IST

Messi double edges six-goal thriller Barca's way

Madrid, Mar 20, 2017, (AFP)
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
Crime Branch officials display seized silver worth rupees 90 Lakh at a press conference in Thane...

Crime Branch officials display seized silver worth rupees 90 Lakh at a press conference in Thane...

Bollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez during an event in Mumbai...

Bollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez during an event in Mumbai...

An oil tanker catches fire at a petrol pump in Nongrim Hills, Shillong...

An oil tanker catches fire at a petrol pump in Nongrim Hills, Shillong...

Tibetan spiritual leader The Dalai Lama interacts with Australian cricket team captain Steve...

Tibetan spiritual leader The Dalai Lama interacts with Australian cricket team captain Steve...

Medical students form the sign of 'TB' as they observe World Tuberculosis Day in Shimla...

Medical students form the sign of 'TB' as they observe World Tuberculosis Day in Shimla...

Renowned Kathak dancer Jayanti Mala performing at the Taj Mahotsav in Agra...

Renowned Kathak dancer Jayanti Mala performing at the Taj Mahotsav in Agra...

Members of Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) show placards during a protest...

Members of Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) show placards during a protest...

Actor-Director Pooja Bhatt with 82-year-old Chandro Tomar popularly known as Revolver Dadi...

Actor-Director Pooja Bhatt with 82-year-old Chandro Tomar popularly known as Revolver Dadi...

A view of the Yadiyuru Lake in Bengaluru...

A view of the Yadiyuru Lake in Bengaluru...

The 485 km long Manali-Leh strategic road being cleared of snow by Border Road Organisation...

The 485 km long Manali-Leh strategic road being cleared of snow by Border Road Organisation...

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