Messi apes Maradona

MADRID - Argentinian Lionel Messi emulated Diego Maradona once again when he scored a replica of his great compatriot's famous "hand of god" goal on Saturday.

MADRID - Argentinian Lionel Messi emulated Diego Maradona once again when he scored a replica of his great compatriot's famous "hand of god" goal on Saturday.

With his side trailing 1-0 to city rivals Espanyol after 43 minutes, Messi launched himself at a Gianluca Zambrotta cross and connected with his hand to steer the ball past goalkeeper Carlos Kameni.

The protests to the referee by the Espanyol players were to no avail.

Messi, heralded as Maradona's successor since he broke into the Barcelona first team, earlier this season produced a carbon copy of the former Argentina captain's brilliant solo goal against England at the 1986 World Cup.

l Real Madrid staged another dramatic last-gasp comeback by holding Real Zaragoza to a 2-all draw on Saturday and are now just a step away from taking their first league title in four years. - Reuters

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