Lionel Messi scored a brace as Barcelona kept the pressure on La Liga leaders Real Madrid with a 4-2 win over 10-man Valencia.
Luis Enrique’s men started the game brightly with Messi’s effort getting blocked on the line before the Argentine curled a shot narrowly over. The home team also had a penalty appeal turned down when Joao Cancelo tripped Neymar. However, the visitors took the lead against the run of play when Eliaquim Mangala turned in Dani Parejo’s corner just before the half hour mark. The lead was short-lived as Luis Suarez scored the equaliser six minutes later. The Catalan giants then took the lead just before the break when Suarez tumbled under a challenge from Mangala, who was sent off for the foul before Messi scored from the spot. The dramatic first-half did not end their as the visitors drew level through Munir El Haddadi.
Barcelona began the second half on a strong too with Messi firing them in front eight minutes after the restart. Neymar also went close to scoring but his free-kick hit the post before Andre Gomes tapped in from a Neymar cross two minutes from time to put the game to the bed.
Here is how Twitter reacted to the match:
Messi about to win the Golden Boot playing almost as a midfielder that's something remarkable.
— AJ. (@_FCBAJ) March 19, 2017
Neymar has gone up a level this season, he’s hitting defenders where it hurts but his finishing often betrays him.
— SKILLFUL (@Peniel1899) March 19, 2017
Whoever convinced City to buy Eliaqim Mangala for almost 40 million pounds should be in prison for fraud. #barcavalencia
— Mode Oritsemeyiwa (@Oritsemeyiwa_M) March 19, 2017