Messi nets brace in five-goal thriller


FC Barcelona got back to winning ways in LaLiga with a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over Valencia on Sunday evening.

The visitors made four changes from Thursday’s loss to Granada, as Ronald Araujo, Clement Lenglet, Serginho Dest and Pedri came back into the fold.

Pedri came close to reward the show of confidence from Ronald Koeman, who was suspended, with a rasping shot earlier on from a set-up by Frenkie De Jong, but the midfield cog dragged wide.

Valencia looked to go on and bag the lead through the counter-attack midway in the first half courtesy of Goncalo Guedes following a pass from Jose Gaya, but the former fired wide.

The Blaugrana responded with another threat just after the half-hour mark when a free-kick from captain Lionel Messi following a foul sailed over.

Los Che then went on to make the breakthrough five minutes from halftime courtesy of Gabriel who headed a corner-kick from Carlos Soler into an empty net after Barca fluffed their lines.

Barcelona were given a glimmer of hope on 56 minutes when a chip over the top from Messi coincided with the hand of Lato, forcing the referee to award a penalty which Messi executed.

The Catalans seized control seven minutes from drawing level after Antoine Griezmann picked up a rebound from goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen for a close-range finish.

Valencia’s evening got worse with 20 minutes to go when Messi drilled a close-range free-kick over the wall and in off the post.

Los Che launched a fight back five minutes before time after a long-range strike from Soler travelled beyond goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen and into the net.

The Catalan giants managed to survive the remaining minutes to collect the win and cement third spot on the table.

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