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.
️ Llega el gol #11 de Lionel Messi en #LaLigaSantander 2020/21@GranadaCdeF 0-3 @FCBarcelona #GranadaBarça pic.twitter.com/rfQOlKfkgM
— beIN SPORTS Español (@ESbeINSPORTS) January 9, 2021
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.
So the unmotivated and past it and unfit and fed up Lionel Messi is…leading scorer in La Liga. Don’t ever doubt him, just don’t.
— Andy West (@andywest01) January 9, 2021
Lionel Messi leads the Pichichi (most goals this season in the Spanish league) with 11 goals. Not bad for a player who is apparently finished. pic.twitter.com/QwGGf5VFLF
— Roy Nemer (@RoyNemer) January 9, 2021
Ladies and gentlemen, #Messi is BACK!
Beautifully struck direct free kick. Nice and low and under the wall to the left post. A brace, and now outright #LaLiga top scorer with 11 goals.
— Semra Hunter (@SemraHunter) January 9, 2021
Messi working to make @OohLalaFootball happy with her hashtag. Now pichichi.
— kevinwilliams (@kevvwill) January 9, 2021
Messi being Messi again these days.
— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) January 9, 2021
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.
48 – Lionel Messi 🇦🇷 has scored 48 direct free-kick goals for @FCBarcelona in all competitions (37 in @LaLiga), one more than Cristiano Ronaldo 🇵🇹 in his profesional club career (47, 32 in league). Stars. pic.twitter.com/sKujVwD6p6
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) January 9, 2021
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.
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