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Saturday, 31 October 2020

Messi scores, assists as Barca keeps comfortable Liga lead

AP , Saturday 9 Mar 2019
Messi
Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi scores a penalty kick during the Spanish league football match between FC Barcelona and Rayo Vallecano de Madrid at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 9, 2019. (Photo: AFP)
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Lionel Messi scored a penalty and set up another goal as Barcelona came back to beat Rayo Vallecano 3-1 and stay firmly in control of the Spanish league on Saturday.

Messi crossed for Gerard Pique to cancel out an opening goal by Rayo's Raul de Tomas, then Messi put the hosts ahead at Camp Nou with a spot kick early in the second half.

Luis Suarez tapped in a pass from substitute Ivan Rakitic to put the result beyond doubt with eight minutes remaining.

Barcelona stayed seven points ahead of second-placed Atletico Madrid, which beat Leganes 1-0.

Real Madrid was in distant third place at 15 points adrift before visiting Valladolid on Sunday.

Barcelona hosts Lyon on Wednesday in the Champions League last 16 after a 0-0 draw in the first leg.

Messi leads La Liga in goals and assists. He has scored 26 times and made 12 direct passes for teammates to score through 27 rounds.

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