Messi's free-kick magic keeps Barca top

Messi's free-kick magic keeps Barca top

Messi's free-kick magic keeps Barca top

The five-time Ballon d'Or victor was inspirational for Barca, opening the scoring with an unstoppable free-kick, then setting up Ousmane Dembele for a superb curling finish.

Messi was leading Espanyol a merry dance and he set up Barca's second in the 26th minute, twisting and turning defenders on the edge of the box before slicing the back four open with a fine pass for Dembele, who cut inside and fired across Lopez into the top-right corner.

In Saturday's early kick-off, Atletico Madrid kept the pressure on with a 3-0 home win over Alaves, which also puts them on 28 points in third place.

Dembele justified coach Ernesto Valverde's decision with a lovely curling shot into the far corner of the Espanyol net and the game was virtually over as a contest when Luis Suarez made it 3-0 from a narrow angle.

Espanyol's long wait for a derby win goes on, and the hosts were denied a consolation goal in the 74th minute when defender Oscar Duarte stabbed the ball in at close range from a free-kick.

Messi was in fine form against derby rivals Espanyol.

Trump's New Jersey Golf Resort Employs Illegal Immigrants
The Times noted there is no evidence that Trump or Trump Organization executives knew of the two women's immigration status. He even boasted during his presidential campaign that not a single illegal immigrant worked for his organization.

Trump to nominate State Department spokeswoman as next United Nations ambassador
ABC News reported in November that Nauert had been offered the job, but it was not clear at the time whether she had accepted. A Republican congressional aide said the president was expected to announce his decision by tweet on Friday morning.

Putin says if USA starts developing intermediate-range missiles, so will Russian Federation
Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country will begin developing nuclear weapons, which he says the already doing. The ministers called on Russian Federation "to return urgently to full and verifiable compliance". "It is illogical.

Mouctar Diakhaby's header in second half stoppage time for Valencia meant Sevilla missed the opportunity to stay just a point behind Barca.

Messi has won the award five times in a glittering career but was overlooked at Monday's ceremony with Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, Cristiano Ronaldo and victor Luka Modric all receiving more votes.

Lionel Messi scored two free-kicks in a LaLiga game for the first time in his career as the Barcelona superstar set another personal landmark.

LaLiga leaders FC Barcelona extended their lead at the top after a 4-0 rout of Espanyol on Saturday evening.

- No player has made more assists than Barcelona's Lionel Messi in the Europe's top five leagues this season (eight, level with Chelsea's Eden Hazard and Milan's Suso).

Related news

[an error occurred while processing the directive]