User information
Auto login:

New user click here.
Lost your password click here.
News search
Game review
Sunday 28. February 2010 - 00:18

Messi to the rescue as Barca top Spanish league

Argentine Lionel Messi scored a vital 83rd minute winner as Barcelona pushed Real Madrid off the Spanish league summit with a nervy 2-1 win over Malaga at Camp Nou on Saturday.

Real Madrid's convincing 5-1 win at Tenerife earlier on Saturday had nudged Barcelona into second but the treble winners responded with a gritty victory to re-establish their two-point lead at the top.

Pedro Rodriguez, 22, had put Barca ahead on 68 minutes on his 50th appearance for the club but substitute Valmiro Valdo equalised on 80 minutes to stun the champions.

However, three minutes later Xavi released Dani Alves who laid the ball back for Messi to score his 17th goal of the season and move level with Valencia's David Villa at the top of the goalscoring charts.

"It was a difficult game for us although we should have scored more goals," said Messi. "It was a vital win and we have to keep on getting the three points as (Real) Madrid are doing well."

Earlier Real followed up their 6-2 thrashing of Villarreal last time out with a 5-1 win at strugglers Tenerife on Saturday to go top of the table for the first time in three months although Barca ensured it was a brief stay.

Argentine Gonzalo Higuain took his season's tally to 16 following a first half brace before Br azilian Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo and substitute Raul netted to make it 10 goals in two games.

"I am really happy with how the team is working as a whole and within the team we have various players that can make the difference," said coach Manuel Pellegrini.

"This is the result of all the work we have done and the conviction of the players has allowed us to be topscorers (in the Spanish top-flight)."

Barcelona were under pressure to respond and welcomed back Alves after a month out with a calf strain.

Sergio Duda tested Victor Valdes with an early free-kick but Barca seized control and Messi went close on 13 minutes only to be denied by a late block by defender Weligton.

Br azilian Weligton was jeered by the Camp Nou fans as they recalled his stamp on Messi when the two sides met in September.

It was wave after wave of Barca attacks with Zlatan Ibrahimovic whistling a free-kick past the post from long range before Messi danced around Weligton only to chip over with his weaker right foot.

An audacious flicked effort from Xavi with his heel was then tipped over by Gustavo Munua on 36 minutes.

Sergi Busquets, Messi and Andres Iniesta all went close but Malaga held on for a 0-0 at the interval.

Ibrahimovic went close with two headers in the second half before Pedro finally broke the deadlock on 68 minutes thundering a right-footed shot into the bottom corner for his seventh goal of the season.

Iniesta hit the crossbar before Valdo struck a shock equaliser on the counter attack with 10 minutes left.

However, a briliant move started by Xavi released Alves who put the ball on a plate for Messi to roll in the winner.

Tenerife's Heliodoro Rodriguez Lopez stadium held painful memories for Real Madrid who famously lost consecutive league titles at the venue on the final days of the season in both 1992 and 1993.

With 19 minutes gone Higuain got the opener for Real latching onto a Marcelo pass before drilling in a left-footed shot.

Higuain then produced another great finish on 41 minutes side-footing in brilliantly after a pass from Garay to make it 10 goals in his last seven league outings.

Tenerife levelled a minute after the break but two minutes later Real re-established their two-goal cushion with Higuain feeding Kaka who made no mistake sliding the ball home.

A handball on 79 minutes gave Real a penalty and with Higuain substituted, Ronaldo stepped up to smash home for his 13th goal in 15 league matches.

Captain Raul, struggling to get into the team these days, came off the bench to net a fifth in stoppage time to complete the scoring.

Provided by: Frank Henriksen
Fan box

Fan gear

MMSport have lots of Real Madrid gear, just waiting for you. They do everything they can, to get the latest gear to make you a bling bling fan. Click here

Real Madrid Tickets

We can provide tickets for all of Real Madrids games. Just click here, and select from all the games.

Soccer training guide

Soccer training guide is a site that will help you increase your overall soccer skills. You will get tips and advices on how to shoot, pass, dribble and much more.
Top site buttons