Messi spurs Barcelona

Lionel Messi smashed in a superb free kick to complete a 2-1 comeback win for injury-hit Barcelona at home to Athletic Bilbao on Sunday that kept alive their slim hopes of a fifth La Liga title in six years.

Aritz Aduriz fired fourth-placed Bilbao ahead five minutes into the second half, prompting rumblings of discontent among the home faithful.

Pedro levelled in the 72nd minute after more chances had gone begging and Messi struck the winner three minutes later when he drove the ball powerfully into the net, the Argentina forward's 26th goal of an injury-disrupted season.

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