Messi Nets 500 Barcelona Goals; Tops El Clasico with 15

Hazel Gray
May 3, 2017

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane insists he would not change his approach to the Clasico following a 3-2 defeat to Barcelona that dealt their title hopes a blow.

While you were (presumably) watching the NBA Playoffs, much of the rest of the world was watching El Clasico (soccer!) between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. He has scored 14 goals in his last 10 league matches, and is the competition's leading scorer with 31 goals, seven more than teammate Luis Suarez.

Barcelona are coming into this fixture after they were knocked out of the UEFA Champions League by Juventus in the middle of the week.

Ter Stegen, who signed for Barcelona from German side Borussia Mönchengladbach in 2014, made 12 saves against Madrid - the highest tally by a Barca keeper in at least a decade.

But with seconds left of the match and deep into injury-time, Messi struck a dramatic winning goal to send Barcelona top of La Liga, level on points with Real.

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In order to celebrate Messi's landmark of 500 goals for the club, Barcelona released a touching tribute video, recalling the first occasion he scored a senior team goal for the club, twelve years back.

The lead lasted just five minutes, though, as with a handkerchief still mopping the blood from his cheek, Messi danced past Dani Carvajal and Nacho to fire home his first goal against Madrid for three years.

Both sides are in action again on Thursday morning - Barcelona at home to Osasuna and Real away to Deportivo La Coruna - and Zidane said their focus must now turn to that game. Madrid have six. Though, as the Barcelona manager Luis Enrique pointed out, having a game in hand is no guarantee of delivering maximum points.

Lionel Messi took off his shirt and lifted it high in front of him, boldly displaying his name and number to the stunned crowd at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. Neymar still has a one match suspension to serve.

Barca took the lead through Ivan Rakitic who scored with a wonderful left foot shot from 20 yards out which left Navas helpless with just 17 minutes left on the clock. The Argentine star fired Barca ahead of their bitter rivals in the dying seconds of the game; his second goal in a tightly fought contest.

Other reports by VgToday

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