Messi gets 500th career goal for Barca

April 24, 2017
Messi

MADRID, AP:

Lionel Messi scored his 500th career goal for Barcelona to give the Catalan club a dramatic 3-2 win over 10-man Real Madrid in the last minute of the "clasico" yesterday, leaving the Spanish league title race wide open.

Messi netted his milestone goal - his second of the night - with a low left-footed shot from inside the area after a cross by Jordi Alba two minutes into stoppage time.

That goal left the two rivals level at the top on 75 points. Barcelona leads on the head-to-head tiebreaker but Madrid has six games left - one more than Barcelona.

 

League title

 

It was the second consecutive win by Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, coming after a 4-0 rout last season that put Madrid in crisis and eventually led to the replacement of coach Rafa Benitez by Zinedine Zidane.

This year's victory could keep Madrid from winning the league title for the first time since 2012, and give the Catalan club its third straight La Liga trophy.

"We can't be happy," Zidane said. "When you don't put the game away, things like this can happen. We are disappointed because we didn't deserve to lose."

It was another outstanding performance by Messi, who played part of the game with a bloodied mouth after being hit by an elbow by Madrid left back Marcelo.

"He is the best player in history," Barcelona coach Luis Enrique said of Messi. "He makes the difference."

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