Football Guru Messi reaches 90 goals as Barca win 4-1 over Atletico Madrid



Falcao put Atletico ahead in
the first half but, despite
enjoying the better of the
opening 45 minutes goal from Adriano and a
well-taken effort from
Sergio Busquets.
Messi was a long way from
his magical best but still
ended up with two goals –
his 89th and 90th of a
remarkable 2012 – to quell
Atletico’s challenge in the
second period.
It all added up to a
wonderful night for Tito
Vilanova’s men who not
only moved a further three
points clear of second-
placed Atletico at the summit
but also took to the Nou
Camp pitch moments after
arch-rivals Real Madrid had
been held to a surprise 2-2
draw by Espanyol at the
Bernabeu.
That stalemate left Madrid
13 points adrift of the
Catalans – a deficit even
boss Jose Mourinho
admitted would be
“practically impossible” to
overhaul.
It looked like being a
different outcome in the
early stages with Falcao a
constant menace to a
nervy-looking Barca
backline.
The Colombia international
came within inches of
putting Atletico ahead after
just nine minutes when he
got on the end of Koke’s
inswinging cross from the
right to flick a header on to
the inside of the post with
Barca goalkeeper Victor
Valdes beaten.
In contrast, Messi could
only muster a weak 23rd-
minute free-kick straight
into the wall.
Falcao threatened again
after 24 minutes but,
having been put through by
a quickly-taken free-kick
by Koke, he dragged his
shot across Valdes and
wide of the far post.
He did not miss when
presented with a third
opportunity, however.
With 31 minutes on the
clock, Diego Costa played in
Falcao, whose first touch
and explosive pace took
him away from Busquets
before he clipped a
wonderful finish over the
advancing Valdes for his
17th league goal of the
season.
Barca had mustered nothing
in the opening half an hour
and it required a moment of
brilliance from an
unexpected source to drag
them level.
Adriano picked up the ball
on the right flank, cut
inside before curling a
wonderful, dipping shot
past Thibaut Courtois and
into the far top corner.
Courtois made his first
save of the night after 45
minutes to palm behind a
Gerard Pique cross-shot.
And from the resulting
corner, Barca went in front.
The Atletico defence failed
to clear and after a
scramble the ball fell at the
feet of Busquets and the
Spain midfielder showed
great composure to take a
touch before firing high into
the net.
After holding their own in
the first half, Atletico
struggled to make inroads
in the second as Barca’s
passing game clicked.
Messi finally got in on the
act after 57 minutes by
cushioning Alexis Sanchez’s
drilled pass with the instep
before curling a beautiful
effort past Courtois from
the edge of the area.
Belgian Courtois saved well
from Andres Iniesta after
80 minutes but could do
little when Messi burst
through with two minutes to
go, the Argentinian finishing Diego
Simeone’s side trailed at
the break after a stunning
with a trademark clipped lob
over the goalkeeper.

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12 thoughts on “Football Guru Messi reaches 90 goals as Barca win 4-1 over Atletico Madrid

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