Messi Scores Two Free-Kicks In A LaLiga Game For First Time

Lionel Messi scored two free-kicks and set up another goal as Barcelona romped past local rivals Espanyol 4-0

Messi, who finished fifth in this year's Ballon d'Or vote, opened the scoring with a fine free-kick before picking out Ousmane Dembele to double the lead after 26 minutes.

Messi began stealing the show after his roving left-foot pass over the defence found Suarez who took aim with an acrobatic volley but was denied by the post.

However, Los Che levelled two minutes into stoppage time when substitute Mouctar Diakhaby knocked the ball home from close range after a free-kick caused a scramble in the six-yard box.

The first free kick came in the 17th minute from about 25 metres (yards) away.

Sevilla were on track to go top earlier in the day, but Valencia scored a 92nd-minute equaliser, although Atletico Madrid exerted some pressure by thumping Deportivo Alaves 3-0.

Duarte thought he had netted a consolation for his side as he prodded home Sergio Garcia's free-kick at the far post, only for the goal to be disallowed after a lengthy VAR review.

Barca's front three were all in fine form but Messi was the conductor at the heart of all their play.

Pele said, "How can you make a comparison between a guy who heads the ball well, shoots with the left, shoots with the right and another who only shoots with one leg, only has one skill and doesn't head the ball well?"

The Argentina star finished fifth in this week's Ballon d'Or voting behind Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, Cristiano Ronaldo and victor Luka Modric.

Lionel MESSI scored two free kick goals in FC Barcelona's 4-0 win against Espanyol.

That is four more than any club in Europe's top-five leagues have managed collectively over the same period, while Messi also broke another LaLiga record against Espanyol.

Lionel Messi scored two brilliant free-kicks as Barcelona opened up a three-point lead at the top of LaLiga after coasting to a 4-0 win at derby rivals Espanyol.

- Espanyol have lost four consecutive La Liga games for the first time since May 2012.