Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership

Become A Member
Dublin: 1°C Friday 7 May 2021

Barcelona extend their lead at the top of La Liga

Young Messi won his battle with Madrid’s Falcao on Sunday.

Messi was on the score sheet for Barcelona again.
Messi was on the score sheet for Barcelona again.
Image: Angel Fernandez/AP/Press Association Images

THERE WERE SOME who wondered what might have been when, at the Nou Camp, Falcao put Atletico ahead after 31 minutes.

But, Barcelona being Barcelona, quickly responded with goals from Adriano and Sergio Busquets before half-time.

After the break, Lionel Messi scored his 24th and 25th league goals of the season and now has 90 in the calendar year as Tito Vilanova’s side extended their record start to 15 wins from 16 games.

Falcao headed a Jorge Koke cross against the post and it was an early indication of the danger that Atletico’s in-form forward poses.

Barca took their time to get into their stride and even then they were finding it difficult to move forward as Atletico were giving them little space.

Arda Turan quickly chipped a free-kick over the home side’s defence for Falcao to run on to but the Colombian’s shot drifted past the far post.

He finally made the breakthrough as he latched onto a Diego Costa pass, outpaced Busquets, and finished with a delightful dink over keeper Victor Valdes.

While Barca’s forwards were being kept quiet it was full-back Adriano who had the answer as he then curled in a 25-yard strike from the right wing.

Busquets put them ahead just before the break as he kept his composure inside the area and picked his spot past the keeper Thibaut Courtois.

Barca maintained the momentum after the break and Messi hit the third after 57 minutes with a clinical shot into the corner and with Atletico having run out of steam the Argentine got his second three minutes from the end.

(C) AFP, 2012

Peter Ndlovu in ‘stable condition’ following Zimbabwe car accident

Sunday’s Premier League wrap

About the author:

Steve O'Rourke

Read next: