Messi Penalty Seals Barca Win


Lionel Messi squeezed home a stoppage-time penalty to grab a 3-2 win for champions Barcelona at Valencia in a thrilling and controversial La Liga match yesterday. Barca talisman Messi scored against Valencia for the 10th season in a row to put Barca ahead in the 22nd minute, although Luis Suarez was in an offside position and obstructing the view of goalkeeper Diego Alves.

Barca captain Andres Iniesta had earlier been carried off on a stretcher with a knee injury and Sergio Busquets was fortunate not to earn a second yellow card before the break.

Valencia turned the game round in four second-half minutes, Munir equalising against his parent club and Rodrigo Moreno putting the hosts ahead in the 56th.

Suarez lashed home in the 64th to pull Barca level and after Nani had missed a gilt-edged chance to win it for Valencia, the Uruguayan won a penalty in the dying seconds which Messi sneaked just under the grasp of Alves to snatch all three points.

Barcelona provisionally go top of the standings on 19 points. Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid, both on 18, play today. Atletico visit Sevilla and Real host Athletic Bilbao.