Lionel Messi scores 300th La Liga goal as Barcelona beat Sporting Gijon 3-1
Barcelona played their game in hand on Wednesday night at El Molinon and beat Sporting Gijon 3-1 to extend their lead at the top of La Liga to six points. Lionel Messi scored a brace in the first half before Luis Suarez scored a third. The Uruguayan striker had also missed a penalty minutes before scoring the third goal. Carlos Castro had equalised in the first half before Messi stole the show.
Barcelona: Bravo; Vidal, Pique, Mathieu, Adriano; Rakitic, Busquets, Turan; Messi, Neymar, Suarez.
Sporting Gijon: Cuellar; Lora, Lichnovsky, Mere, Canella; Mascarell, Cases; Menendez, Halilovic, Perez; Castro.
Barcelona opted to rotate their squad with three games coming up in seven days. Andres Iniesta, Dani Alves and Mascherano were rested with Aleix Vidal, Arda Turan and Jeremy Mathieu starting for Barcelona
First Half: Messi scores his 300th goal as Barcelona take a 2-1 lead
Lionel Messi opened the scoring in the 25th minute with his 300th goal in La Liga becoming the first player in La Liga history to do so. Messi received the ball outside the box, sidestepped two defenders with a sudden burst of acceleration and struck a low shot into the bottom corner to give Barcelona the lead.
However, Sporting Gijon did not let their heads drop and equalised soon after the opening goal. A superb counter attack from Gijon led to Menedez sending in a superb cross which was met by Castro as he tapped it in.
Lionel Messi was not finished however as he scored with a superb finish from the outside of his left boot to give the lead back to Barcelona. Suarez and Messi showed superb understanding as Suarez’s cut-back enabled Lionel Messi to score goal number 301 and give Barcelona the lead.
Half Time: Sporting Gijon 1 – 2 Barcelona
Second Half: Suarez misses penalty and scores a stunner
Barcelona started off the second half in commanding fashion with Sporting Gijon defending stoically. All the pressure finally told as Neymar was bought in the box and Barcelona won a penalty. This time, there was no repeat of the two-man penalty done against Celta Vigo as Suarez stepped up and saw his shot saved brilliantly by Cuellar.
However, Suarez was not to be denied as he curled in a wonderful left-footed shot in the 67th minute which gave Cuellar no chance. It was a brilliant goal by the Barcelona’s number 9 and it was no lesser than what he deserved for today’s display.
La Liga’s top goal scorers in history
Messi became the first player in the history of La Liga to score 300 goals when he scored Barcelona’s first goal. Cristiano Ronaldo is more than 50 goals behind Lionel Messi but has a better goals-to-games ratio than Messi.
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