SPORTS


Late Lionel Messi magic moves Barcelona top with win at Atletico Madrid

Baku, December 2, AZERTAC

Lionel Messi hit a sensational late goal to give Barcelona a 1-0 win at title rivals Atletico Madrid which saw the champions reclaim top spot in La Liga from Real Madrid on Sunday, according ESPN.

The Argentine, playing his 701st game for Barca, settled a pulsating and tense encounter in the 86th minute, galloping down the right wing before cutting inside and playing a one-two with Luis Suarez before guiding the ball into the bottom corner.

It was Messi's first goal against Atletico at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium and gave his side their first win over their rivals at the ground in three attempts after successive draws in the last two seasons.

"Whenever you have a game like this which is really tight and really tough, being able to count on Messi is always an advantage," said Barca coach Ernesto Valverde.

The strike saw Barca return to the top of the standings with 31 points after 14 games, ahead of Real Madrid on goal difference, while Atletico were left in sixth spot on 25 points, having played one match more than Barca and Real.

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