Spain

Grenada 1-2 Barcelona

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Messi: Another day, another brace

Messi: Another day, another brace

Lionel Messi baaged a brace as Barcelona rallied from a goal down to record a 2-1 victory over Grenada at Estadio Los Carmenes on Saturday evening.

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Barcelona rested Andres Iniesta and Xavi for Saturday night's La Liga clash with Granada but they were still able to control the early possession against their relegation-threatened hosts.

However, despite having very few chances of their own early on, it was Granada who found themselves with a shock lead just before the half hour mark when Odion Ighalo was left unmarked in the penalty to beat a helpless Victor Valdes from close range.

The Catalans tried to find a quick response but the chances kept falling to Alexis Sanchez and the Chilean's torrid season was getting no better as he continued to waste opportunities with either poor finishing or even worse control.

However, in the second half it was Messi who started to dictate the play which ultimately spelt trouble for the opposition.

The diminuitive Argentine forward took just five minutes after the break to drag his side level when he reacted fastest to Tono's fumble of Cesc Fabregas' long-range drive to roll into the empty net.

The equaliser was Messi's 300th Barcelona goal and he only had to wait another 23 minutes for number 301, although this one was all his own work.

Having been fouled just outside the box the reigning World Player of the Year dusted himself down to curl a stunning free-kick beyond the reach of a sprawling Tono to put Barca in front.

In an enthralling finish there were chances at both ends as Pedro struck a post and Messi, Cristian Tello and Iniesta missed the chance to wrap up the win, while Inigo Lopez and Brahimi wasted late opportunities to snatch a point.

The full-time whistle eventually came and Barca claimed a deserved three points which continued their procession towards regaining the La Liga title from Real Madrid as they pulled 15 points clear at the top.

Posted: 16/02/13 21:44

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