Messi gets 500th career goal for Barca in 3-2 win vs Madrid

2017-04-24 09:06

Messi gets 500th career goal for Barca in 3-2 win vs Madrid

Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates scoring their third goal during the match against Real Madrid, April 23, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

MADRID — Lionel Messi scored his 500th career goal for Barcelona to give the Catalan club a dramatic 3-2 win over 10-man Real Madrid in the last minute of the "clasico" on Sunday, leaving the Spanish league title race wide open.

Messi netted his milestone goal — his second of the night — with a low left-footed shot from inside the area after a cross by Jordi Alba two minutes into stoppage time.

That goal left the two rivals level at the top on 75 points. Barcelona leads on the head-to-head tiebreaker but Madrid has six games left — one more than Barcelona.

It was the second consecutive win by Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, coming after a 4-0 rout last season that put Madrid in crisis and eventually led to the replacement of coach Rafa Benitez by Zinedine Zidane.

This year's victory could keep Madrid from winning the league title for the first time since 2012, and give the Catalan club its third straight La Liga trophy.

"We can't be happy," Zidane said. "When you don't put the game away, things like this can happen. We are disappointed because we didn't deserve to lose." It was another outstanding performance by Messi, who played part of the game with a bloodied mouth after being hit by an elbow by Madrid left back Marcelo.

"He is the best player in history," Barcelona coach Luis Enrique said of Messi. " He makes the difference." Messi's winner at the Bernabeu came after Sergi Roberto made a great run from Barcelona's defense, leading to Alba's low pass across the area as Messi came charging to one-touch the ball into the corner past the diving Keylor Navas.

Messi's first goal came after he got past Luka Modric and Dani Carvajal with a run inside the area after picking up a pass by Ivan Rakitic outside the box in the 33rd.

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