What’s the story?
The Blaugrana captain led from the front scoring two goals and assisting one more as the Catalan giants downed their city rivals Espanyol 4-0 at the RCDE Stadium.
Interestingly, both of his goals came from direct free-kicks, the first time Messi has scored a brace of free-kicks in the competition. This brace took his goal tally to 11 goals in just 13 starts for the club, making him the first player in LaLiga’s history to score 10 or more goal in 13 consecutive seasons.
In case you didn’t know…
Lionel Messi finished fifth in the Ballon d’Or rankings this year, three places behind Cristiano Ronaldo. It was the first time since 2007 that the Argentinean wizard has finished outside the Top 3 at the event.
Messi has scored more free-kicks than any of the Europe’s top four club over the last four years.
And with two wonderfully executed set-pieces, that he lifted over the wall and into the net of Diego Lopez, his tally for free-kick goals in 2018 went up to 10.
The heart of the matter…
In the LaLiga fixture between the two Barcelona based clubs, Espanyol and the namesake yesterday at the RCDE Stadium, Messi opened the scoring with a brilliant free-kick in the 17th minute from a distance of about 27 yards.
With that the Barcelona talisman had scored his 10th goal in the competition already and set a new LaLiga record of being the first player to enter double figures in 13 consecutive seasons.
Messi’s free-kick was also the eighth set-piece he has scored this year in LaLiga, three more than any team in Europe’s top-five leagues have collectively scored this year.
He followed up his first half curler with another top notch finish from a similar position, sending the ball perfectly into the top right corner of the goal.
Barcelona earned the three points along with the derby bragging rights as they moved three points clear at the top of LaLiga with an emphatic victory yesterday.
Messi is on fire this season and would like to win another treble this season with his club, while rewriting history books over and over again.