Messi Scores Record 91st Goal to End Brilliant 2012


Lionel Messi, one of the contenders for the Ballon D’Or award, was looking to continue his stunning momentum and to extend the calendar year record he broke earlier this month. The Argentine talent led his Barcelona against Real Valladolid on Saturday in the last round of the Spanish La Liga before the winter break.

Messi was no doubt THE focus in this match, but his team had to play without the guidance of Tito Vilanova. Barca players wore T-shirts bearing the words of best wishes to their head coach who had throat surgery on Thursday.
After an emotional start, Messi soon took the center stage and was awarded the chance to break his own record.

The football genius, curling a superb free-kick in the 36th minute. But his effort was denied by the woodwork.Messi and his teammates made the breakthrough two minutes to the break. Xavi Hernandez turned in his low cross. Barca led 1-0.

The match came to a climax in the 59th minute, when Messi doubled Barca’s lead for his 91st goal of this calender year. Look at his trademark run and finish.

Javi Guerra pulled a goal back for Valladolid in the 89th minute, but substitute Cristian Tello added a third for Barcelona in injury time. Barca beat Valladolid 3-1, for a record 16th win in 17 games.

Other matches played on Saturday, Real Madrid lost to Malaga 3-2. Coach Jose Mourinho sprung a surprise by leaving captain and goalkeeper Iker Casillas on the bench, and it was the second consecutive setback the stuttering champions suffered following last weekend’s 2-2 draw at home to Espanyol.
Over to the standings, Real are 16 points adrift of arch-rivals Barca at the winter break, while Atletico Madrid stay in second place. Malaga remain on fourth, just two points to Real Madrid. Traditional powerhouse Valencia returned to the top half of the table with a 4-2 victory over Getafe on Friday.