Argentine Lionel Messi equaled Xavi Hernández’s record as the player with the most league appearances for Barcelona (505) and celebrated it by registering a ‘double’ and an assist in the win against Alavés (5-1).
The ‘Pulga’ thus reached 15 goals and three assists, placing only a goal behind Luis Suárez (16) in the fight for the scoring championship.
Also in Spain, Ángel Correa scored the goal that sealed the victory against Granada (2-1) that allowed Atlético de Madrid to maintain an eight-point lead at the top of the table.
– Messi signs ‘double’ and scores another brand –
Barcelona beat Alavés by a landslide (5-1) in a match in which Argentine Lionel Messi was once again the main protagonist.
Lionel Messi started by equaling Xavi Hernández’s record as the player with the most league games played with the Barcelona shirt when he reached 505, and ended up deciding, by scoring a ‘double’ and giving an assist.
The ‘Pulga’ could well celebrate their first hat-trick of the season when after half an hour (36) they beat Jesús Pacheco, but the goal was canceled by the VAR due to an offside.
The Argentine was not left with the desire to go to the dressing room after celebrating a goal and just when the first half was about to end (45) he put the 2-0 partial with a left-footed shot from outside the area that bounced off the post before getting into the door.
15 minutes from the end, Messi was the architect of the third goal by leaving the ball served to Trincao, albeit involuntarily, after sneaking into the area with a controlled ball and stumbling when facing the rival goalkeeper.
A minute later, Messi indulged in a new left foot from long range, this time from the edge of the crescent, to make it 4-1.
Messi, who signed his fourth double this season, reached 15 goals and three assists in the League to put pressure on his former teammate Luis Suárez (16) in the fight for the scoring championship.
“(Messi) is in a fantastic moment,” coach Ronald Koeman said after the match.
“He is very involved. He is happy and effective. With him, everything is easier,” he added.
With the victory, Barcelona reached 46 points, remaining in the second position of the table, eight points behind the leader Atlético de Madrid.
– Correa scores the goal of the rojiblanco triumph –
Atlético de Madrid reaffirmed their leadership status in the Spanish championship after beating Granada (2-1) at home.
The Argentine Ángel Correa was in charge of sentencing with the second goal for the rojiblanco (74) after the Venezuelan Yangel Herrera put the tables (66).
Correa registered his fifth goal this season in the League after receiving a delayed ball into the large area by Marcos Llorente and launching a cross shot that bounced off a rival defender before sneaking into the door of the Andalusian team.
“I had a bit of luck. The defender deflected him, but he was able to get into the far post,” acknowledged the Argentine midfielder after the match.
“We knew it was going to be very difficult. We came from a draw and we wanted to take the three points against a great rival. We are very happy,” he said.
For their part, the Brazilian Felipe and the Uruguayan Luis Suárez were part of the starting team, playing the 90 minutes of the match.
The Uruguayan striker, scoring leader in the Spanish championship, left without seeing a goal for the first time in five games.
“Beyond what he generates with his goals, (Suárez) has a lot of intelligence. He knows where to apply pressure, where to bother the rival, to generate doubts,” said coach Diego Simeone in this regard.
Atlético de Madrid, which has reached nine games without defeat after eight wins and a draw, reached 48 points to maintain an eight-point lead at the top of the table.
pnv / mcd