Lionel Messi came up with yet another moment of magic to end his free-kick scoring drought for Barcelona. The captain scored a brilliant effort against Granada on Saturday to make it 3-0 to the visitors.
Granada lined up with all 11 players behind the ball, including a player lying down behind the wall, but still could not prevent the 33-year-old scoring. The Argentine simply curled the ball low into the corner for his second of the match.
Messi has earlier made it 2-0 with a brilliant curled finish into the top corner after a lay-off from Antoine Griezmann. The Frenchman had opened the scoring after just 12 minutes for his first La Liga goal since November.
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Praise for Messi
The Barcelona captain’s goals saw Messi move to the top of the Pichichi charts with 11 for the season so far in La Liga. The strikes also drew plenty of praise for the Argentina international on social media.
The goals also bring yet another landmark for Messi in his extraordinary career with the Catalan giants. The skipper is now the only player to score 10 or more goals for 15 straight seasons in La Liga, according to Opta.
Messi’s goal also sees the Barcelona man edge Cristiano Ronaldo when it comes to scoring from direct free-kicks.
Messi Benefits from Break?
Messi certainly appears to have benefited from a recent break over the festive period. The 33-year-old flew back to Argentina for Christmas and was afforded some extra time off to receive treatment on an ankle problem.
The captain missed Barcelona’s final game of 2020 against Eibar at the Camp Nou that resulted in a disappointing 1-1 draw. However, he made a successful return in the 1-0 win over Huesca, setting up Frenkie de Jong for the only goal of the game.
Messi then scored twice in the 3-2 win over Athletic and now has another two goals against Granada to take his tally to 11 for the season and top of the scoring charts in Spain’s top flight.
Koeman opted to take Messi off after 65 minutes against Granada after Griezmann scored his second of the match to make it 4-0 to the visitors. It looked a wise move by the Dutch coach with the club in the midst of a hectic fixture schedule.
Barca head to Andalusia next for a Spanish Super Cup semi-final against Real Sociedad. The winners of the match will go on to play either Real Madrid or Athletic in the final of the competition.
Koeman’s men then play third-tier side Cornella in the third round of the 2020-21 Copa del Rey before taking on Elche and Athletic in La Liga before the end of January.