Lionel Messi scored twice on Sunday as Barcelona trounced Actual Sociedad 6-1 to maintain the strain on Atletico Madrid, who squeezed previous Alaves due to a late penalty save from Jan Oblak. Oblak’s 86th-minute heroics ensured Luis Suarez’s five hundredth profession aim was sufficient for a 1-0 victory on the Wanda Metropolitano, that means the hole on the prime of La Liga stays at 4 factors, with 10 video games left to play. However the distinction between Atletico’s nervy win towards Nineteenth-placed Alaves and Barca’s demolition of a Actual Sociedad facet with hopes of qualifying for Europe spoke volumes about the place the momentum lies within the Spanish title race.
Atletico will hope Oblak’s save can show to be a turning level after a difficult few weeks, whereas the worldwide break may provide Diego Simeone’s facet an opportunity to reset and refresh forward of the run-in.
“There are video games the place you undergo however that is what makes soccer lovely,” stated Oblak.
Simeone stated: “Like all nice groups, there may be at all times one which scores lots of targets and one which makes lots of saves. They’re each decisive gamers who make the staff stronger.”
Barcelona have hit their stride, their six targets towards Actual Sociedad a minimum of they deserved for a scintillating attacking show, and maybe their finest since Ronald Koeman took cost.
“The staff has improved so much just lately,” stated Koeman. “We have gone lots of video games with out dropping within the league, which was the one option to get again within the battle for th title.
“However we’re nonetheless behind Atleti, Actual Madrid are stronger. We have now to maintain going to the tip.”
Messi breaks look file
Messi scored his eleventh and 12 targets in his final 10 video games, and made it 16 in 12 this yr. The 33-year-old has additionally now handed Xavi Hernandez’s file of 767 Barcelona appearances, which he had equalled towards Huesca on Monday.
Messi didn’t plough a lone furrow on the Reale Enviornment, the place Sergino Dest scored twice both facet of half-time after Antoine Griezmann slammed within the opener.
Ousmane Dembele and Actual Sociedad’s Ander Barrenetxea — with arguably the aim of the night time — each registered between Messi’s double within the second half.
For Barcelona, it’s a ninth consecutive away win within the league, with a membership file tenth inside their grasp in the event that they beat Actual Madrid within the Clasico on April 10.
Actual Sociedad subsequent play Basque rivals Athletic Bilbao within the postponed Copa del Rey closing from final yr on April 3.
Dest had already hit the crossbar when Messi set Jordi Alba free down the left and whereas Dembele’s end was saved, Griezmann was readily available to transform the rebound.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen needed to rectify his personal poor clearance by getting down low to disclaim Alexander Isak however Actual Sociedad’s resistance was temporary.
Messi slipped in Dest to fireside in after which Alba pulled again from the opposite facet for the American to make it three.
Messi snuck in behind early within the second half, poking in Sergio Busquets’ ball excessive earlier than Dembele was allowed to glide by way of unchallenged, and impressively drove into the far nook.
Barrenetxea put his facet on the scoreboard, and brilliantly, by nipping inside Frenkie de Jong and thundering a shot into the highest nook however Messi had the final phrase, a crisp end curling contained in the close to submit.
Messi stays forward of Suarez within the La Liga scoring charts, regardless of the Uruguayan’s glorious end 9 minutes into the second half towards Alaves.
Thomas Lemar turned the ball across the nook to Marcos Llorente, who fed Kieran Trippier racing down the fitting, and he curled a cross in on the run to the close to submit, the place Suarez headed in.
However and not using a second aim, Alaves at all times had an opportunity they usually got a golden one after Stefan Savic was judged to have put an arm throughout Luis Rioja simply contained in the penalty space.
Joselu stepped up and struck it properly to his left however Oblak learn it proper and, along with his left foot nonetheless pinned to the road, sprung out and pushed the ball away.
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