Messi record headlines Barca's win

Messi record headlines Barca's win

Lionel Messi marked his 400th appearance in La Liga with the opening goal as Barcelona eased to a 3-0 win over Levante at the Camp Nou on Sunday.

Messi's 365th goal in Spain's top flight came inside 12 minutes, with Luis Suarez adding the second before the interval and Paulinho completing the victory late on as Barcelona stretched their lead at the top of the table back to nine points over Atletico Madrid.

The Catalans are still unbeaten in La Liga this season and have Philippe Coutinho to come in, with the Brazilian expected to be officially unveiled as a Barcelona player on Monday following the announcement of his 160 million-euro ($192 million) move from Liverpool.

The 25-year-old Brazilian, whose transfer is the third-biggest in football history, was not in attendance at the Camp Nou as the club's previous record recruit Ousmane Dembele started.

It was Messi who broke the deadlock from a Jordi Alba assist, a combination that has proved fruitful on so many occasions this season.

The Argentine's flighted pass found Alba, and the left-back headed the ball down for Messi, arriving in the area, to finish first-time in off the far post for his 16th league goal of the campaign.

The second goal arrived seven minutes before the interval, as Suarez controlled Sergi Roberto's fine ball into the box before firing home.

A little over half-full Camp Nou did afford Dembele an ovation as he came off in the 67th minute to be replaced by Nelson Semedo.

And Barca rounded out the victory in the third minute of added time as Messi's low ball across goal at the end of a jinking run was turned in by Paulinho.

 

 

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