Messi gives Barcelona 2-1 win at Atletico Madrid

AP, Monday 27 Feb 2012

Lionel Messi scored from a late free kick to give Barcelona a 2-1 win at Atletico Madrid on Sunday, keeping alive his team’s faint hopes of winning a fourth consecutive Spanish league title

Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring the winner

Despite its first away victory in three games, Barcelona is still 10 points adrift of leader Real Madrid thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo’s superb back-heeled goal in his team’s hard-fought 1-0 win at Rayo Vallecano earlier.

After Radamel Falcao had canceled out Dani Alves’ opener for Barcelona, Messi caught Atletico’s players unawares while they were trying to form a defensive wall by looping a perfectly placed shot into the far side of the net in the 81st minute.

It was Atletico’s first loss in 10 games under new coach Diego Simeone.

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