Sports

Messi’s Double Shoots Barcelona To Top Of Table

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Lionel Messi scored an injury-time penalty as Barcelona came from behind to beat Valencia and go top of La Liga.

Messi had given Barca a controversial lead after offside Luis Suarez jumped out the way of his low shot.

Valencia then fought back to take a 2-1 advantage with fine goals from Barca loanee Munir el Haddadi and Rodrigo.

But Suarez equalised for the visitors when he arrived at the back post, before winning a penalty in added time which Messi confidently converted.

The result takes Barcelona a point ahead of second-placed Atletico Madrid, who face Sevilla on Sunday.

Valencia goalkeeper, Diego Alves has developed a reputation as an expert at keeping out penalties, having saved 17 of his past 35 spot-kicks before this game.

So when Uruguay striker Suarez was brought down inside the penalty area by Aymen Abdennour deep into injury time, the pressure was on Messi.

But he kept his nerve in front of goal and took his tally to 19 goals in 21 games against Valencia – having only found the net more often against Atletico Madrid (21) and Sevilla (20).

The Argentina international’s strike also meant Alves has conceded 18 Messi goals, more than any other goalkeeper in La Liga.

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