Published: Sun, December 09, 2018
Sports | By Johanna Francis

Lionel Messi may have just scored the best free-kick of his career

Lionel Messi may have just scored the best free-kick of his career

Lionel Messi scored twice from free kicks in a league match for the first time in his career on Saturday, leading Barcelona to a 4-0 rout of Espanyol in the Spanish league.

Valverde, whose side host Tottenham in their final Champions League group game on Tuesday night, knows just how fortunate Barcelona are to have such a talent.

Messi was prevented a hat-trick by a smart Diego Lopez save in the 69th minute, and Espanyol thought that they had registered in the 73rd minute when Duarte converted a Sergio Garcia free kick.

Espanyol's first shot on target was a low header following a corner from Oscar Duarte, which Marc Andre Ter Stegen saved easily.

The match was done and dusted when Messi found the top corner from another free-kick from outside the box, giving Lopez no chance whatsoever.

Goalkeeper Diego Lopez saved from Suarez, given the all-clear to play following a knee problem, as Barcelona looked to swiftly double their lead.

The Barca captain, playing in this fixture for a joint-record 32nd time, beat Diego Lopez with a flawless free-kick from 25 yards that curled away from the goalkeeper's despairing dive.

It was, though, 3-0 just before the break.

Canadian boxer Stevenson suffered 'severe traumatic brain injury': hospital
Stevenson's family thanks supporters for their many messages of empathy and support over the past few days", read the release. He is sedated, under artificial ventilation and is undergoing specialized neurological monitoring.

Mohamed Salah turns down MOTM award, hands it to Milner
Liverpool have not lost any of the 23 away matches in all competitions in which Firmino has scored (20 wins, three draws). Salah then added a fourth for the Reds with a classy goal to seal his hat-trick with 14 minutes to go.

US conducts 'extraordinary flight' over Ukraine after Russian Federation ship seizure
Navy is also preparing to sail a ship into the Black Sea in response to Russia's actions against Ukraine. Such flights occur outside the schedule of normal, planned operations when unusual situations arise.

That looked to have been enough to send Pablo Machin's side back above Barcelona, albeit only for a few hours.

Understandably, Barca took their foot off the gas in the second half, though the feeling that they could re-find their intensity and cutting edge at a moment's notice remained.

On 65 minutes, Messi made Espanyol pay again for another needless foul which gave away a free-kick 25 yards out, to the left of centre.

The 31-year-old Argentine forward put away a brilliant free-kick in the first half against Espanyol.

Messi was in fine form against derby rivals Espanyol.

However, following a lengthy review from the Video Assistant Referee, the goal was ruled out for offside.

Barcelona were caught out at the back in the 74th minute when Duarte stabbed the ball in at close range from a free-kick.

Like this: