• By bassey
    In
    Apr 24, 2017
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    Lionel Messi

    Lionel Messi struck his 500th Barcelona goal with the last kick of the game to blow the La Liga title race wide open with a thrilling 3-2 win at Real Madrid on Sunday.

    Messi had broken a three-year goalless drought against Madrid to cancel out Casemiro's opener for Madrid in the first-half.

    Ivan Rakitic's stunning strike and a red card for Madrid captain Sergio Ramos for chopping down Messi 13 minutes from time put Barca on course for victory before James Rodriguez came off the bench to level four minutes from time.

    However, fittingly, Messi had the final say with a brilliant finish deep into stoppage time to lift Barcelona's hopes of a third straight La Liga title.

    Fresh from dumping Bayern Munich out the Champions League in a 4-2 thriller after extra-time in midweek, Madrid had started confidently in another breathless encounter at the Bernabeu.

    Cristiano Ronaldo had strong appeals for a penalty waived away inside two minutes after he appeared to have been clipped by Samuel Umtiti.

    Barca grew slowly into the game and had their first big chance when Luis Suarez dragged wide Jordi Alba's fine cut-back from the edge of the box 11 minutes in.

    Shortly after Messi was left floored and bloodied after being caught by a stray elbow from Marcelo.

    The Argentine was still down by Ronaldo drilled another fine effort towards goal that Marc-Andre ter Stegen did well to parry to safety.

    AFP

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