Messi bags another brace as Barcelona remain firmly in La Liga race
Lionel Messi scored his 25th La Liga goal for the 12th season in succession as Barcelona cruised past Getafe on Thursday night to close the gap on table toppers Atletico Madrid.
The Argentine maestro handed Barcelona the lead in the 8th minute, following an assist from Sergio Busquets.
However, Getafe pulled one back via an own goal from Clement Lenglet.
Messi scored his second goal of the night and Barcelona’s third of the day after just 33 minutes into the match, converting from a tight angle after picking up his rebound from a shot off the inside of the far post.
After a comfortable first-half win, the Catalans came back calm in the second half and got punished for it by Enes Unal. The Turkish forward made an energizing finish from the penalty spot in the 69th minute following a VAR check for a foul by Ronald Araujo.
Getafe had few second-half opportunities to level the tie but it only got worse soon enough. Uruguayan defender Araujo made a calamitous error by heading in Messi’s corner in the 87th minute to put the game beyond doubt for the home team.
Barca were handed a penalty in extra time and Messi being the hero, sacrificed his chance of scoring a hat-trick and gave the ball to Antoine Griezmann. The Frenchman made no mistake from the resulting penalty.
In a post-match interview with Ronald Araujo, the Barcelona defender was pleased to see his side grab all three points. He said: “It was an unusual game, however, the team knew important this match is and we got the job done as usual, at the end of the day it’s the three points that are the most important and I’m glad we got it”.
The victory saw Barca close the gap on lead leaders Atletico Madrid and second-place Real Madrid to five points and two points respectively. Barcelona currently have 68 points with a game in hand.