Messi scores twice as Barcelona beat Valencia to keep pressure on Madrid

Mangala opened the scoring but was then sent off in the first half

Suarez and Gomes were also on target for Barca at Camp Nou

Messi and Suarez
Messi and Suarez | sport/englishEdition

Lionel Messi scored twice as Barcelona won an entertaining game 4-2 against Valencia at Camp Nou on Sunday. 


The three points move them back to within two points of Real Madrid -- who have a game in hand -- as La Liga shuts down for two weeks to allow the players to go away with their national teams. 

Barca led 3-2 for a large part of the second half against a 10-man Valencia side who they only killed off in added-on time when Andre Gomes scored his first goal for the club. 

Eliaquim Mangala was hero and villain in a first half goal which saw four goals. He opened the scoring with a header from a corner moments after Marc-Andre ter Stegen had made a good save from Carlos Soler. 

Luis Suarez then equalised, finishing well after a quick throw from Neymar. 

And Suarez, who had a lively first half, then drew a penalty from Managala, who had already been booked and was thus shown a second yellow card and sent off. Messi scored the penalty. 

The Blaugrana switched off, though, and allowed Valencia to go up the other end and equalise immediately. Jose Gaya did well and Munir swept home, but didn’t celebrate against his parent club. 

Barca then dominated the second half but only had Messi’s goal -- his 41st of the season -- to show for their efforts until stoppage time. 

Neymar hit the woodwork with a free-kick and Suarez missed an open goal from six yards as Luis Enrique’s side struggled to pull clear of Valencia. 

It meant there was always the threat of more dropped points and Gerard Pique did well to shut down another Munir chance. 

The fourth goal finally arrived in stoppage time, Neymar accelerating down the left, leaving two men for dead and crossing for Gomes to slot home. 


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