Lionel Messi’s 400th goal boosts Barca title bid in Valencia win
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Lionel Messi’s 400th goal boosts Barca title bid in Valencia win

Fola Akintomide

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi hit his 400th career goal for the La Liga leaders deep into stoppage time to seal a 2-0 win over Valencia. It took Luis Suarez just 54 seconds to break the deadlock as he completed a great team counter-attack, latching onto Messi’s pass before slotting the ball past Diego Alves.

Valencia missed a golden chance to equalise in the 10th minute when Dani Parejo’s penalty was saved by Claudio Bravo after Gerard Pique had barged into the back of Rodrigo Moreno.

The visitors dominated the remainder of the first-half but couldn’t find a leveller. Paco Alcacer narrowly missed the goal on 19 minutes before striking the post just past the half-hour mark. Barcelona held on to the break and emerged the stronger side from the restart.

They went close to doubling their lead on 63 minutes when Messi’s free-kick effort hit the woodwork. Pedro saw a late effort saved as Barca looked to put added gloss on an already polished performance but Messi scored in stoppage time to ensure Barca moved five points at the top of the table.

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