Barca stay on course for title

Messi strikes twice as champions rout Tenerife

Barca stay on course for title

Carles Puyol's howler gifted the visitors an equaliser after Argentina forward Messi had put Barca ahead in the 17th minute before Bojan Krkic and substitute Pedro netted with clinical second-half strikes.

Messi grabbed a fourth in added time at a rain-lashed Nou Camp when he controlled a Daniel Alves pass and lifted the ball over Tenerife goalkeeper Sergio Aragoneses for his 31st league goal of the campaign.

With two matches left, Barca have a La Liga record 93 points, four clear of second-placed Real Madrid, who have a game in hand and can cut the gap back to one with a win at Champions League hopefuls Real Mallorca on Wednesday.
Barca's points total from 36 matches surpasses the 92 accumulated by Real under Fabio Capello in the 1996-97 season when there were 22 teams rather than 20.
Barca's final two games are away to fifth-placed Sevilla and home to relegation-threatened Real Valladolid, while Real play Athletic Bilbao, who are fighting for a Europa League spot, at home and struggling Malaga away.

Guardiola's side took early control on a slick surface and Brazil right back Alves fluffed one good chance before providing the cross that led to Messi's opener. Messi chipped in a delicate shot from close range. that evaded desperate lunges by Aragoneses and defender Pablo Sicilia. Roman Martinez equalised six minutes before halftime.
Alves released Bojan to score with an angled drive in the 63rd and Pedro ran on to Messi's deflected pass to score a third that ricocheted in off Aragoneses.
Alves conjured another assist in the 93rd minute, Messi bringing the ball down with his left foot and finishing neatly with his right.

Juan Mata scored twice and David Silva netted one as third-placed Valencia came from behind to beat bottom side Xerez 3-1 at the Mestalla in the late kickoff.
Reuters

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