Lionel Messi saves Barcelona with a brace against Real Betis
Lionel Messi returned to the field with his magical form to score a brace, which helped Barcelona avoid a shocking defeat at the hands of Real Betis at Camp Nou. The Argentinean came off the bench to help the Catalans record a 4-2 victory at home.
The 25-year-old Argentina international took his goal tally to 60 after stepping onto the field as a substitute. Before his arrival Barcelona were under threat of losing to Real Betis, a scenario which would have seen them lose their 13-month undefeated record at home in La Liga.
At the end of the day Barcelona reveled in Lionel Messi’s amazing display of football. However, the Argentinean forward’s 34-minute performance once again portrayed that Barcelona are a one-man team.
Real Betis edged towards victory twice with Dorlan Pabon and Ruben Perez providing the lead to their sides. Alexis Sanchez stepped up to clinch the first equalizer with David Villa scoring on a header to bring the scoreline to 2-2.
With this scoreline Real Betis decided to give a run for the money. However, Lionel Messi’s introduction in the 56th minute sacked their plan. Lionel Messi scored his first goal four minutes after coming onto the field through a superb free-kick which curled inside before landing into the back of the net.
The visitors were left shaking their heads in disbelief, but the four-time Ballon d’Or winner wasn’t done with them just yet. Moments later, the Barcelona bred forward produced a clinical finish to secure three points for Barcelona.
Barcelona’s victory hasn’t yet confirmed them as La Liga champions, but they could be if Real Madrid fails to win against Malaga on Wednesday and Espanyol on Saturday. In case of defeat, Barcelona will steal the La Liga title from Real Madrid.
Barcelona and Real Madrid both have played 34 games, but the Catalans are 11 points ahead of their fierce rivals at 88. Second placed Real Madrid have managed to put 77 points on the board. They are followed by Atletico Madrid, who confirmed their spot in the Champions League. The fight for the fourth spot rages on between Real Sociedad, Valencia and Malaga.