Lionel Messi shines on historic event as Barcelona head to victory over Huesca
Barcelona comfortably noticed Huesca on the backside of the desk to place strain on Atletico Madrid in a tense title race.
It was an ideal begin for Lionel Messi, who made his file 767th Barcelona look. The Argentinian marked the event with a phenomenal opening sport, touching the ball in entrance of the defender earlier than finishing a strike on the crossbar.
Either side threatened to seek out the following goal. Pablo Maffeo noticed his low shot saved by Marc-André ter Stegen following a mazy solo run, whereas Jordi Alba hit the crossbar of Messi’s crossing ball.
However it was not lengthy earlier than the hosts doubled their lead in an equally sensible method. This time it was Antoine Griezmann, who landed a 25-yard shot within the prime nook. It was the Frenchman’s first objective in ten video games in all competitions.
Ronald Koeman’s males got here inside an inch of a 3 shortly earlier than half-time. Alba threw an ideal cross for Frenkie de Jong, however he may solely elevate the ball off the crossbar.
Within the dying seconds of the primary half, the guests had the chance to get again into the sport when Ter Stegen was accused of fouling Rafa Mir. The striker stepped up and halved the penalty spot deficit.
However Huesca’s return hopes had been shortly put to mattress within the second half through an unlikely supply. Messi’s cross discovered the top of younger defender Oscar Mingueza, who planted his head within the backside nook.
Mir had an excellent probability to drag out one other when Dani Escriche nodded on objective. Nonetheless, the loaned Wolverhampton Wanderers in some way hit him over the bar at shut vary.
It was the final of the motion till the final moments, when Messi capped the evening with one other objective. This time he picked up a move from substitute Francisco Trincao and located the far backside nook through a deflection.
The victory places Barcelona inside 4 factors of leaders Atletico Madrid, having been ten factors behind Diego Simeone’s males in early February whereas enjoying an additional sport.
However, Huesca stays on the backside of the desk after a second successive defeat. Pacheta’s males are 4 factors from security with 11 video games to go.
Man of the Match – Lionel Messi
☝️ # Messi767 ☝️
? The soccer world in awe #Messi pic.twitter.com/OAfb3Np8LY
– FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) March 15, 2021
To name him the person of the hour can be an insult – he is the person of the previous 15 years at Camp Nou.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner was making his 767th look for La Blaugrana, tying the file set by former teammate Xavi in 2015. And, in fact, he received again into the highlight.
He kicked the ball off with an impressive first objective, slipping off the bar after an exquisite first contact to beat the defender. And, later within the match, he confirmed his artistic facet, swinging in a peach of a cross to get Mingueza dwelling.
He then put the ending touches on an incredible efficiency with one other objective, albeit relatively fortunate this time round.
La Liga title race – Europe’s greatest
After an thrilling first half of the season, the race for the Premier League title has gone flat. Manchester Metropolis all of a sudden remembered the best way to play soccer, whereas Liverpool seemingly forgot.
Within the Bundesliga it has been a bit tighter than common, however Bayern Munich are nonetheless 4 factors forward of RB Leipzig with 9 video games to go.
In Italy, Inter Milan seem decided to finish Juventus’ reign of terror, with a nine-point lead on the prime and ten forward of Andrea Pirlo’s males.
It appears shut in Ligue 1, with Lille, Paris Saint-Germain and Lyon making up a three-horse race. Mauricio Pochettino has but to have the specified impact in France, however nonetheless has an opportunity to win the championship.
Nonetheless, none of them can match the title race we see in La Liga.
At first of February, Atletico Madrid had a ten-point lead on the prime with one match underway. A month and a half later, and now their lead has been lowered to simply 4 factors, after a streak of simply three wins in eight.
In the identical period of time, Barcelona have received six out of seven attainable wins, whereas Actual Madrid have received 5 and drawn two.
With 11 video games to play this season, Los Rojiblancos will really feel the heat of the 2 titans as they search to clinch their first league title since 2014.
Atletico Madrid are nonetheless in a positive place, however they must flip issues round quickly if they’re to keep away from one of many greatest chokes in La Liga historical past.
As for Barcelona and Actual Madrid, they are going to know that in the event that they maintain profitable they need to elevate that trophy in Might.
Learn additionally: PSG “immensely optimistic” on the signing of Lionel Messi