Lionel Messi scores 600th goal as Barcelona defeat Atletico Madrid
Barcelona 1 - 0 Atletico Madrid

Lionel Messi scores 600th goal as Barcelona defeat Atletico Madrid

05/03/2018

Lionel Messi's 600th career goal sank Atletico Madrid 1-0 and ensured Barcelona stretched their lead at the top of La Liga to eight points.

Messi scored from a free kick as Barca edged past their nearest rivals to take a huge stride towards regaining the title.

Atletico had clawed back the lead to just five points but could not secure a victory that would have reduced the deficit to two.

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde, who saw midfielder Andres Iniesta limp off with a hamstring injury before the break, had played down the importance of the match, claiming it would not be a decider.

But his side's victory, and a 34th league game unbeaten, means it is now Barca's title to lose with 11 games remaining.

It was also a first defeat for Atletico boss Diego Simeone in 13 encounters with Valverde.

Atletico were content to play on the break in the early stages, so Barca had most of the ball. Philippe Coutinho forced an early near-post save from Jan Oblak and Messi hit a free kick into the wall.

Messi then somehow wriggled clear of three defenders and raced towards goal before driving low too close to Oblak.

But in the 26th minute, Messi made the breakthrough after he was brought down by Thomas Partey 25 yards out.

The position of the free kick was perfect for Messi, and he wrapped his left foot around the ball, curling it away from the diving Oblak and into the top corner.

He now has 539 goals for Barcelona and 61 for Argentina -- in 747 total appearances -- and took his tally for this season to 32 goals in all competitions.

But while Messi was enjoying himself, Iniesta had been limping through much of the first half following a collision with Saul Niguez and eventually had to be replaced by Andre Gomes after 35 minutes.

Coutinho twice drew saves from Oblak and Gerard Pique headed over from a corner, but Barca could not find a second before the interval.

Atletico, knowing defeat would all but end their title hopes, came out on the attack in the second half.

Antoine Griezmann, with seven goals in his previous two matches, got his first sight of goal in the 75th minute but his shot was wild, flying miles over the crossbar.

Luis Suarez had the ball in the net for Barca moments later but his effort was ruled out for offside.

At the other end, Kevin Gameiro thought he had snatched a point when he rifled home from close range but Diego Costa had been flagged offside.

Related news

Lionel Messi's super strike not enough as Barcelona draw at Valencia

Lionel Messi's super strike not enough as Barcelona draw at Valencia

Champions Barcelona's domestic strife continued as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Valencia in an absorbing La Liga game on Sunday, with Lionel Messi again coming to their rescue by equalising with an 11th goal in 10 games this season.

Angel Correa strikes as Atletico Madrid hold off Real Betis late

Angel Correa strikes as Atletico Madrid hold off Real Betis late

Atletico Madrid defeated Real Betis 1-0 in a tight game on Sunday through a second-half strike from forward Angel Correa as coach Diego Simeone's substitutions paid off.

Sevilla go top with Celta win, Atletico subs see off Betis

Sevilla go top with Celta win, Atletico subs see off Betis

Sevilla moved provisionally top of La Liga by beating visitors Celta Vigo 2-1 on Sunday for a fourth straight victory that saw them climb above Atletico Madrid, who had led the table for a couple of hours after a 1-0 home win over over Real Betis.

Real Madrid goalless again in shock loss to Alaves

Real Madrid goalless again in shock loss to Alaves

Manu Garcia scored a last-minute winner as Deportivo AlavГ©s beat Real Madrid 1-0 at the Mendizorroza in La Liga.

Real Madrid's Gareth Bale limps off during derby draw with Atletico Madrid

Real Madrid's Gareth Bale limps off during derby draw with Atletico Madrid

Real Madrid missed the chance to go two points clear of Barcelona at the top of La Liga as they drew 0-0 with Atletico Madrid on Saturday in an edgy, but entertaining, local derby in which the outstanding players were the two goalkeepers.

Barcelona held by Athletic Bilbao as Ernesto Valverde defends decision to bench Lionel Messi

Barcelona held by Athletic Bilbao as Ernesto Valverde defends decision to bench Lionel Messi

Barcelona's run of poor form continued following a surprise 1-1 draw at home to Athletic Bilbao on Saturday.

Andre Silva's brace gives Sevilla emphatic win over Real Madrid

Andre Silva's brace gives Sevilla emphatic win over Real Madrid

Real Madrid crashed and burned in a 3-0 defeat at a rampant Sevilla on Wednesday, losing for the first time in La Liga under coach Julen Lopetegui and missing the chance to capitalise on Barcelona's shock 2-1 defeat at Leganes.

Barcelona drop first game of La Liga season in shock defeat to Leganes

Barcelona drop first game of La Liga season in shock defeat to Leganes

La Liga leaders Barcelona slumped to a shock first loss of the season on Wednesday, suffering a 2-1 defeat at struggling Leganes after conceding twice in two second-half minutes as coach Ernesto Valverde's squad rotation backfired.

Atletico Madrid ease to comfortable win over Huesca ahead of weekend derby

Atletico Madrid ease to comfortable win over Huesca ahead of weekend derby

First-half goals from Antoine Griezmann, Thomas Partey and Koke helped a resurgent Atletico Madrid secure a 3-0 home victory over Huesca in La Liga on Tuesday.

RELATED NEWS

Lionel Messi's super strike not enough as Barcelona draw at Valencia
Valencia 1 - 1 Barcelona

Lionel Messi's super strike not enough as Barcelona draw at Valencia

Champions Barcelona's domestic strife continued as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Valencia in an absorbing La Liga game on Sunday, with Lionel Messi again coming to their rescue by equalising with an 11th goal in 10 games this season.

Angel Correa strikes as Atletico Madrid hold off Real Betis late
Atletico Madrid 1 - 0 Real Betis

Angel Correa strikes as Atletico Madrid hold off Real Betis late

Atletico Madrid defeated Real Betis 1-0 in a tight game on Sunday through a second-half strike from forward Angel Correa as coach Diego Simeone's substitutions paid off.

Sevilla go top with Celta win, Atletico subs see off Betis
Sevilla 2 - 1 Celta

Sevilla go top with Celta win, Atletico subs see off Betis

Sevilla moved provisionally top of La Liga by beating visitors Celta Vigo 2-1 on Sunday for a fourth straight victory that saw them climb above Atletico Madrid, who had led the table for a couple of hours after a 1-0 home win over over Real Betis.

Real Madrid goalless again in shock loss to Alaves
Alaves 1 - 0 Real Madrid

Real Madrid goalless again in shock loss to Alaves

Manu Garcia scored a last-minute winner as Deportivo AlavГ©s beat Real Madrid 1-0 at the Mendizorroza in La Liga.

Real Madrid's Gareth Bale limps off during derby draw with Atletico Madrid
Real Madrid 0 - 0 Atletico Madrid

Real Madrid's Gareth Bale limps off during derby draw with Atletico Madrid

Real Madrid missed the chance to go two points clear of Barcelona at the top of La Liga as they drew 0-0 with Atletico Madrid on Saturday in an edgy, but entertaining, local derby in which the outstanding players were the two goalkeepers.

Barcelona held by Athletic Bilbao as Ernesto Valverde defends decision to bench Lionel Messi
Barcelona 1 - 1 Athletic Bilbao

Barcelona held by Athletic Bilbao as Ernesto Valverde defends decision to bench Lionel Messi

Barcelona's run of poor form continued following a surprise 1-1 draw at home to Athletic Bilbao on Saturday.

Andre Silva's brace gives Sevilla emphatic win over Real Madrid
Sevilla 3 - 0 Real Madrid

Andre Silva's brace gives Sevilla emphatic win over Real Madrid

Real Madrid crashed and burned in a 3-0 defeat at a rampant Sevilla on Wednesday, losing for the first time in La Liga under coach Julen Lopetegui and missing the chance to capitalise on Barcelona's shock 2-1 defeat at Leganes.

Barcelona drop first game of La Liga season in shock defeat to Leganes
Leganes 2 - 1 Barcelona

Barcelona drop first game of La Liga season in shock defeat to Leganes

La Liga leaders Barcelona slumped to a shock first loss of the season on Wednesday, suffering a 2-1 defeat at struggling Leganes after conceding twice in two second-half minutes as coach Ernesto Valverde's squad rotation backfired.

Atletico Madrid ease to comfortable win over Huesca ahead of weekend derby
Atletico Madrid 3 - 0 Huesca

Atletico Madrid ease to comfortable win over Huesca ahead of weekend derby

First-half goals from Antoine Griezmann, Thomas Partey and Koke helped a resurgent Atletico Madrid secure a 3-0 home victory over Huesca in La Liga on Tuesday.

18/10/2018
01:30 | DC United - Toronto
01:30 | Orlando City - Seattle Sounders
04:00 | Vancouver Whitecaps - Sporting KC
10:00 | ATP 250 - Moscow
10:00 | ATP 250 - Antwerp
10:00 | ATP 250 - Stockholm
10:00 | WTA - Moscow
19/10/2018
03:00 | Real Salt Lake - New England
10:00 | ATP 250 - Moscow
10:00 | ATP 250 - Antwerp
10:00 | ATP 250 - Stockholm
10:00 | WTA - Moscow
17:00 | Formula 1 - United States Grand Prix - Free Practice 1
20:45 | Olympique Lyon - Nimes
20:45 | Sheffield Wednesday - Middlesbrough
21:00 | Formula 1 - United States Grand Prix - Free Practice 2
20/10/2018
08:10 | MotoGP - Grand Prix of Japan - Qualifying
10:00 | ATP 250 - Moscow
10:00 | ATP 250 - Antwerp
10:00 | ATP 250 - Stockholm
10:00 | WTA - Moscow
13:00 | Real Madrid - Levante
13:30 | Chelsea - Manchester United
15:00 | Roma - SPAL
15:30 | Bayer Leverkusen - Hannover 96
15:30 | Stuttgart - Borussia Dortmund
15:30 | Wolfsburg - Bayern Munich
16:00 | Manchester City - Burnley
16:00 | West Ham United - Tottenham Hotspur
16:00 | Brentford - Bristol City
16:15 | Valencia - Leganes
17:00 | PSG - Amiens
18:00 | Juventus - Genoa
18:30 | Villarreal - Atletico Madrid
18:30 | Huddersfield Town - Liverpool
18:30 | Schalke 04 - Werder Bremen
18:30 | Derby County - Sheffield United
20:00 | Strasbourg - Monaco
20:00 | Formula 1 - United States Grand Prix - Free Practice 3
20:30 | Udinese - Napoli
20:45 | Barcelona - Sevilla
23:00 | Formula 1 - United States Grand Prix - Qualifying
21/10/2018
08:00 | MotoGP - Grand Prix of Japan
10:00 | ATP 250 - Moscow
10:00 | ATP 250 - Antwerp
10:00 | ATP 250 - Stockholm
10:00 | WTA - Moscow
15:00 | Parma - Lazio
18:00 | Fiorentina - Cagliari
20:10 | Formula 1 - United States Grand Prix
20:30 | Inter Milan v AC Milan
21:00 | Nice - Olympique Marseille
DERBY OF THE WEEK
Chelsea - Manchester United
Derby of the week
13:30
20/10/2018
Derby of the week
W 1.66    
   W 5.00
The odds are correct at the time of publishing
10:00 08-10-2018 and are subject to change
Football Live Scores
Tennis Live Scores