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Another Messi brace keeps Barca tops

By Reuters | Nov 19, 2012 | COMMENTS [ 27 ]

MADRID - Barcelona pulled six points clear of Atletico Madrid at the top of La Liga when Lionel Messi netted his seventh double of the campaign and set up Alex Song to open his account for the club in a 3-1 success at home to Real Zaragoza on Saturday.

The win means new coach Tito Vilanova, who took over from Pep Guardiola at the end of last season, is the first to lead a side to 11 wins in their opening 12 La Liga matches since Radomir Antic achieved the feat with Real in 1991-92.

"The players made a big effort and you noticed they were tired after long trips to play with their national teams," Vilanova told a news conference.

"Leo is decisive and the great teams have great players, but he doesn't win games on his own," he added of Messi.

World Player of the Year Messi took his league tally for the season to 17 with a pair of beautifully executed finishes as unbeaten Barca moved on to 34 points from 12 matches.

Atletico had 28 points ahead of yesterday's game at Granada, while third-placed Real Madrid closed to within two of their city rivals when they crushed visiting Athletic Bilbao 5-1 in Saturday's late kickoff.

After Jon Aurtenetxe's early own goal, Karim Benzema, Sergio Ramos, Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira were on target for Real as Jose Mourinho's side continued their recovery from a poor start to their title defence with a seventh win in eight games.

Barca, who play at Spartak Moscow in the Champions League tomorrow, have dropped points only once in La Liga this term, a 2-2 draw at home to Real.

Malaga extended their winless run in La Liga to three matches when they were held to a 0-0 draw at struggling Osasuna.

Valencia beat Espanyol 2-1 at home thanks to a late penalty. - Reuters

COMMENTS [ 27 ]

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MESSILESS

Nov 19, 2012 7:58 | 0 replies

What can i say... ahhhhmmm, brilliant(bontle).

Nov 19, 2012 11:54 | 0 replies

@Winilen

You are correct baba,we still have to wait Messi to prove himself in an international stage,so far at club level he has done well,i would love to see him to challenge Gerd Muller's record at international stage and see if he can break it....

Nov 19, 2012 12:8 | 0 replies

The way Messi makes football look so easy is simply mind-blowing. While I agree that his natural influence in the team overshadows the work of others at times, the truth is that his effectiveness and leadership are reaching new heights in world football. The best ever.

Nov 19, 2012 12:18 | 0 replies

@Right-Back-Khumalo.....yep it is against these teams that I haven't seen Messi doing much, they maybe sitting at the back but that would be their strategy for the day...and also as a collective unit Barca is dangerous, however the issue is about Messi as an individual player. Don't you think it's a sign of weakness in the La liga teams that one player week in and week out will be scoring braces and hatrics?...Messi must go to the EPL and do same then I will 100% agree at the moment I have my doubts...those La liga teams are not tough enough.

Nov 19, 2012 1:11 | 0 replies

with or without a good coach,,this team is the best..

Nov 19, 2012 1:23 | 0 replies

Parolee
@Right-Back-Khumalo.....yep it is against these teams that I haven't seen Messi doing much, they maybe sitting at the back but that would be their strategy for the day...and also as a collective unit Barca is dangerous, however the issue is about Messi as an individual player. Don't you think it's a sign of weakness in the La liga teams that one player week in and week out will be scoring braces and hatrics?...Messi must go to the EPL and do same then I will 100% agree at the moment I have my doubts...those La liga teams are not tough enough.
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Didn't Messi score in the final against ManU? Didn't Messi score against Arsenal at camp nou? You don't know what you talking about. English premiership is weak, media and supersport brainwash us to believe it is strong. You are brainwashed.

Nov 19, 2012 1:32 | 0 replies

barcelona is a 1 man team??? you are kidding me, tomorrow u gonna say without iniesta and xavi messi is nothing, ronaldo didnt score over the weekend, and he doesnt care about assisting others, thats why he will never win a balon de oro... messiless...

Nov 19, 2012 1:39 | 0 replies

Hail Barca hail...Messi is the best

Nov 19, 2012 2:23 | 0 replies

to all those who are talking negative about messi(or barca), its cause u've never played soccer in your life and all you do is to put comments and tlk what you dont knw. ever since i was born i've never seen such an excellent football, barca is an excellent team. to prove it, they have even won the champions league(EUFA) countless times. non of the english team do well in the champions league(except for Man U). Messi is excellent, barca is the best team and doesn't need a coach to make it the best. so all those of you who keeps on coming with lame arguments about La Liga been weak, you dont know what you tlkn about. but i understand jealousy has blinden you to the extend that you dont realise quality and give credit were is due. MESSSSSSSSSSSIIIIIII YOU ARE THE BEST and Ballon De Or will either go to Messi, Iniesta, Falcao or Xavi. Finish and Klaar.

Nov 19, 2012 2:51 | 0 replies

@LSG7
" barca is an excellent team. to prove it, they have even won the champions league(EUFA) countless times."

I don't think 3 times can be regarded as a countless time chief...only Madrid and Milan has won the Champions League a "countless times" not ur over rated barcelona.

Nov 19, 2012 3:39 | 0 replies