La Liga: Messi claims new record as Barcelona beat Mallorca
Lionel Messi broke yet another record on Saturday as Barcelona made a winning return in La Liga. The Argentine star scored a goal and grabbed two assists with Barca handing a 4-0 defeat to Real Mallorca. Having netted a goad in the dying minutes, Messi became the only player to score 20 or more goals in 12 consecutive La Liga seasons. Here is more.
Following the game, Messi further extended his lead at the top in the goals and assists tally. He is presently the top scorer in the league with 20 goals from 21 matches. Karim Benzema and Luis Suarez follow him in the list, having scored 14 and 11 goals respectively. Meanwhile, Messi's total number of assists this season has risen to 12.
Arturo Vidal opened the account for Barcelona only two minutes into the game. Later on, Messi set up Martin Braithwaite's goal before assisting Jordi Alba to gain an unassailable 3-0 lead. Messi then added a fourth in second-half injury time, his 20th goal of the 2019-20 season. Despite his thigh issue, Messi completed his full quota of 90 minutes in the match.
Luis Suarez, who has not played since undergoing knee surgery earlier this year, joined the team in the second half. Notably, Messi's goal was set up by the Uruguayan eventually. "You have to admire the performance he gave in those minutes that he played. Starting like this is very important for him and for the team as well," Barca coach Quique Setien praised Suarez.
Barcelona appear the front runners in the title race, having held the first spot with 61 points. They are five points clear of the nearest contenders Real Madrid (56 points), who host Eibar on Sunday in their first game following the resumption.