Barcelona maintained pressure at the summit of the La Liga table with a professional 4-2 win over Valencia at Camp Nou. Eliaquim Mangala opened the scoring with a well-taken goal for Valencia, before Luis Suarez equalised just six minutes later. A thrilling first half saw more excitement as Mangala saw a red card in the final moments of the first period before Lionel Messi duly obliged from the resulting spot kick.
Messi doubled his tally after the break while Andre Gomes confirmed all three points with a neat goal in the dying stages of the game. Munir was the other scorer for the visitors. With this victory, the Catalans are now just two points behind Real Madrid, though the reigning European champions have a game in hand.
On that note, let's take a look at the five talking points from the game between Barcelona and Valencia:
#1 Lionel Messi bullies Diego Alves once again
Last night's brace against Valencia took Messi's tally against Valencia goalkeeper, Diego Alves, to 21 goals. The Los Che custodian has always been tagged as the Argentine's bunny. During his time with Almeria, Alves conceded seven goals against Messi while the last meeting between the two sides was another entertaining episode.
In the previous encounter, Alves had intimidated Messi before he took a penalty but failed in his efforts as Barcelona won 3-2 on the night.
Messi has now scored 41 goals this season in 40 games and has achieved this feat for the eighth season running. He is also the current leading goalscorer in Europe in all competitions.