Messi gets his 500th goal for Barca

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Lionel Messi scored his 500th goal for Barcelona as the Cata­lan club won a thriller against Sevilla on Sun­day night.

Reach­ing that land­mark prompted Barcelona to tweet: “Count­ing of­fi­cial matches and friendlies, Messi reaches the fig­ure of 500 goals for FC Barcelona. Well done Leo!”

Barcelona stayed two points be­hind Madrid by com­ing from be­hind to de­feat gritty Sevilla 2-1. Luis Suarez got Barcelona’s win­ner.

On Sun­day, Messi was the dif­fer­ence again, scor­ing an equaliser with a well-placed shot from out­side the area in the 43rd.

Messi is the club’s all-time lead­ing scorer with 469 goals in of­fi­cial matches and 31 in friendlies.

Not con­tent with that mile­stone, Messi set up Suarez’s win­ner with a pre­cise pass in the 61st in the back-and-forth game at Sevilla.

Messi and Suarez lead the league in scor­ing with eight goals each.

Vic­tor “Vi­tolo” Machin had put Sevilla ahead in a break­away in the 15th, speed­ing past a de­fender af­ter a per­fect through ball by mid­fielder Pablo Sara­bia and fir­ing a low shot past goal­keeper Marc-An­dre ter Ste­gen.

It was the fourth straight win for Barcelona, and Sevilla’s first home loss in the league this sea­son.

“It’s a win that strength­ens us as a team,” Barcelona coach Luis En­rique said.

Sevilla, which had beaten Atletico Madrid at home ear­lier this sea­son, was look­ing for an­other big vic­tory to es­tab­lish it­self as a top con­tender af­ter the ar­rival of Ar­gen­tine coach Jorge Sam­paoli.

OTHER GAMES

Vil­lar­real scored a goal in each half to de­feat Betis 2-0 and moved to third place with 22 points, five be­hind Real Madrid.

Sev­enth-placed Ath­letic Bil­bao was held to a 0-0 draw at Es­panyol for its third straight game with­out a league win.

Celta Vigo moved to eighth af­ter com­ing from be­hind to beat Va­len­cia 2-1 at home. Swedish for­ward John Guidetti scored Celta’s win­ner in the 77th.

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