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Every striker has at least one night of magic in their career, but Leo Messi does it again, and again, and again… And tonight’s 4-1 victory at Real Betis was no exception as he further sealed his claim to be the greatest footballer that ever graced the planet.
Such was the majesty of his three-goal display that by the end of it, even the home fans in the Benito Villamarin were up on their feet and chanting the name of the Argentinian maestro.
Not only that, but the win coupled with Atlético Madrid’s defeat at Athletic Club the day before means Barça have moved a massive TEN points clear at the top of the league table. There’s still some way to go, but Barça are in a very, very healthy position indeed right now!
But what a night for Leo Messi. He opened the scoring with an absolute peach of a free kick. Smack into the top left corner. Absolute perfection.
The home team did manage to ask a few questions of Barça in a pulsating 45 minutes, and extraordinarily, Barça’s 43.9% possession was the team’s lowest in the league since the 2004/05 season, but the chances of Betis repeating their heroics at the Camp Nou earlier this season took a major knock when Messi added his second right on the edge half-time.
Suárez assist and goal
That goal, however, was all about the assist. Luis Suárez had just let one chance go when he was one-on-one with the keeper, but more than made up for it with the cheekiest of backheels to set up his strike partner.
It wasn’t the only moment of amend-making from the Uruguayan. Another chance went begging that he would normally expect to score, but moments later he was capping a brilliant solo run with the goal that made it 3-0 and as good as game over.
That goal tied Suárez with Diego Forlan as the highest scoring Uruguayan in Liga history (128 goals each).
Betis did manage to pull one back though substitute Loren, and a sweetly taken goal it was too, but it was soon forgotten when Messi produced his final, and most brilliant, trick of all.
The sheer audacity, the sheer class of the way he sent a first-time chip over Pau Lopez and into the back of the net … It was one of those Messi moments that will be appearing on highlight reels for years to come.
And that was that. Barça ten points clear at the top of the table, Messi’s legend further sealed in stone and all in all, things are looking VERY good indeed as club football takes a week off for the international break.
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