Messi breaks another Ronaldo record
With a swish of his magic left boot, Lionel Messi broke yet another record as his stunning trademark free-kick sealed a comprehensive win against Sevilla.
The strike was his 420th in La Liga, breaking Cristiano Ronaldo’s record of 419 goals scored in Europe’s ‘top five’ leagues — Spain, England, Germany, Italy and France.
Despite finishing the match with just nine men on the pitch, Barcelona hammered Sevilla 4-0 to stay within two points of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga.
The home side scored three goals in eight first-half minutes, the first an acrobatic effort from Luis Suarez, before Messi wrapped up the three points late on.
Sunday’s four-goal haul took Barcelona’s total scored under coach Ernesto Valverde to more than 300, with Messi, unsurprisingly, leading the charts with 97.
“I think the result at half-time was probably a bit misleading,” Valverde said after the match. “We were able to finish our chances, they weren’t. Before we scored the first goal, they caused us problems because they had men getting forward out wide.
“Once we got the goal, I think that open game they wanted to play allowed us to create chances ourselves. Teams start pressuring you but you have to make it last 90 minutes.
“As the first half went on, their legs got tired and that’s when you can find the space. The game opened up even more and we finished it off.”
Real Madrid survived a second-half scare to beat Granada and retains its two-point cushion at the top of the table.
Despite cruising 3-0 after an hour thanks to goals from Karim Benzema, Eden Hazard — his first in Real Madrid colors — and Luka Modric, Granada scored two goals in the space of eight minutes to set up a nervy finish.
However, with the visitors pressing in search of an equalizer, Real hit Granada on the counter and secured the three points through James Rodriguez’s stoppage-time effort.
“We want more, we are perfectionists,” coach Zinedine Zidane said after the match. “We want it, we need it and we will get it done. I am happy with what they are doing. There are no easy games and you must be on from the first minute.