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

Barcelona see off Levante, but Copa del Rey future still in doubt

Barcelona see off Levante, but Copa del Rey future still in doubt

Barcelona's Ousmane Dembele and Lionel Messi were on target as the Copa del Rey holders thrashed Levante 3-0 at the Nou Camp on Thursday for a 4-2 aggregate win to reach the quarterfinals.

Real Madrid reach Copa del Rey quarters despite lacklustre loss to Leganes

Real Madrid reach Copa del Rey quarters despite lacklustre loss to Leganes

Real Madrid limped into the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey on Wednesday, losing 1-0 at Leganes with an another lacklustre performance yet still advancing 3-1 on aggregate.

Dani Ceballos rescues Real Madrid over Betis with late free kick goal

Dani Ceballos rescues Real Madrid over Betis with late free kick goal

Injury-hit Real Madrid snatched a 2-1 victory at Real Betis on Sunday, earning their first La Liga win of the year thanks to a late free kick from Dani Ceballos to return to the top four.

Messi scores 400th La Liga goal as Barcelona beat Eibar to extend lead at top

Messi scores 400th La Liga goal as Barcelona beat Eibar to extend lead at top

Luis Suarez scored twice while Lionel Messi scored his 400th La Liga goal as Barcelona re-opened a five-point lead over second place Atletico Madrid in La Liga with a 3-0 win over Eibar.

Bilbao's Inaki Williams strikes twice as Sevilla's hopes fade

Bilbao's Inaki Williams strikes twice as Sevilla's hopes fade

Sevilla's hopes of staying in the La Liga title race faded further with a 2-0 defeat on Sunday at struggling Athletic Bilbao, who boosted their chances of survival with two wonderful goals from Inaki Williams.

Griezmann strikes for fifth game in a row to give Atletico narrow win over Levante

Griezmann strikes for fifth game in a row to give Atletico narrow win over Levante

Antoine Griezmann proved to be Atletico Madrid's decisive figure yet again as the Frenchman struck the only goal in a 1-0 win at home to Levante on Sunday which kept Diego Simeone's side in touch with La Liga leaders Barcelona.

Levante take first-leg lead over Barcelona in Copa del Rey round of 16

Levante take first-leg lead over Barcelona in Copa del Rey round of 16

Barcelona's recent iron grip on the Copa del Rey came under threat as they lost 2-1 at Levante in their last-16 first-leg tie on Thursday after resting a host of first team regulars, including Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

Vinicius Jr. has goal and assist in Real Madrid's Copa del Rey win against Leganes

Vinicius Jr. has goal and assist in Real Madrid's Copa del Rey win against Leganes

Real Madrid pulled away from Leganes in the second half for a 3-0 win in their Copa del Rey first-leg tie on Wednesday.

Griezmann strikes again as Atletico held to Copa del Rey draw at Girona

Griezmann strikes again as Atletico held to Copa del Rey draw at Girona

Atletico Madrid earned a 1-1 draw away to Girona in a chaotic and entertaining Copa del Rey last 16 first-leg match on Wednesday, leaving the tie finely balanced.

RELATED NEWS

Barcelona see off Levante, but Copa del Rey future still in doubt
Barcelona 3 - 0 Levante

Barcelona see off Levante, but Copa del Rey future still in doubt

Barcelona's Ousmane Dembele and Lionel Messi were on target as the Copa del Rey holders thrashed Levante 3-0 at the Nou Camp on Thursday for a 4-2 aggregate win to reach the quarterfinals.

Real Madrid reach Copa del Rey quarters despite lacklustre loss to Leganes
Leganes 1 - 0 Real Madrid

Real Madrid reach Copa del Rey quarters despite lacklustre loss to Leganes

Real Madrid limped into the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey on Wednesday, losing 1-0 at Leganes with an another lacklustre performance yet still advancing 3-1 on aggregate.

Dani Ceballos rescues Real Madrid over Betis with late free kick goal
Betis 1 - 2 Real Madrid

Dani Ceballos rescues Real Madrid over Betis with late free kick goal

Injury-hit Real Madrid snatched a 2-1 victory at Real Betis on Sunday, earning their first La Liga win of the year thanks to a late free kick from Dani Ceballos to return to the top four.

Messi scores 400th La Liga goal as Barcelona beat Eibar to extend lead at top
Barcelona 3 - 0 Eibar

Messi scores 400th La Liga goal as Barcelona beat Eibar to extend lead at top

Luis Suarez scored twice while Lionel Messi scored his 400th La Liga goal as Barcelona re-opened a five-point lead over second place Atletico Madrid in La Liga with a 3-0 win over Eibar.

Bilbao's Inaki Williams strikes twice as Sevilla's hopes fade
Bilbao 2 - 0 Sevilla

Bilbao's Inaki Williams strikes twice as Sevilla's hopes fade

Sevilla's hopes of staying in the La Liga title race faded further with a 2-0 defeat on Sunday at struggling Athletic Bilbao, who boosted their chances of survival with two wonderful goals from Inaki Williams.

Griezmann strikes for fifth game in a row to give Atletico narrow win over Levante
Atletico Madrid 1 - 0 Levante

Griezmann strikes for fifth game in a row to give Atletico narrow win over Levante

Antoine Griezmann proved to be Atletico Madrid's decisive figure yet again as the Frenchman struck the only goal in a 1-0 win at home to Levante on Sunday which kept Diego Simeone's side in touch with La Liga leaders Barcelona.

Levante take first-leg lead over Barcelona in Copa del Rey round of 16
Levante 2 - 1 Barcelona

Levante take first-leg lead over Barcelona in Copa del Rey round of 16

Barcelona's recent iron grip on the Copa del Rey came under threat as they lost 2-1 at Levante in their last-16 first-leg tie on Thursday after resting a host of first team regulars, including Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

Vinicius Jr. has goal and assist in Real Madrid's Copa del Rey win against Leganes
Real Madrid 3 - 0 Leganes

Vinicius Jr. has goal and assist in Real Madrid's Copa del Rey win against Leganes

Real Madrid pulled away from Leganes in the second half for a 3-0 win in their Copa del Rey first-leg tie on Wednesday.

Griezmann strikes again as Atletico held to Copa del Rey draw at Girona
Girona 1 - 1 Atletico Madrid

Griezmann strikes again as Atletico held to Copa del Rey draw at Girona

Atletico Madrid earned a 1-1 draw away to Girona in a chaotic and entertaining Copa del Rey last 16 first-leg match on Wednesday, leaving the tie finely balanced.

19/01/2019
04:00 | Australian Open 2019
06:00 | Novak Djokovic vs Denis Shapovalov - Australian Open
09:00 | Timea Bacsinszky vs Garbine Muguruza - Australian Open
09:00 | Simona Halep vs Venus Williams - Australian Open
09:00 | Alexander Zverev vs Alex Bolt - Australian Open
09:00 | Camila Giorgi vs Karolina Pliskova - Australian Open
15:00 | Roma - Torino
15:30 | Bayer Leverkusen - Borussia M'gladbach
16:00 | Liverpool - Crystal Palace
16:00 | Manchester United - Brighton
16:15 | Real Madrid - Sevilla
17:00 | PSG - Guingamp
18:30 | Huesca - Atletico Madrid
18:30 | RB Leipzig - Borussia Dortmund
18:30 | Arsenal - Chelsea
20:00 | Monaco - Strasbourg
20:30 | Inter Milan - Sassuolo
20/01/2019
01:00 | Petra Kvitova vs Amanda Anisimova - Australian Open
02:00 | Frances Tiafoe vs Grigor Dimitrov - Australian Open
02:30 | Ashleigh Barty vs Maria Sharapova - Australian Open
04:00 | Australian Open 2019
06:00 | Tomas Berdych - Rafa Nadal - Australian Open
06:00 | Danielle Collins vs Angelique Kerber - Australian Open
06:00 | Marin Cilic vs Roberto Bautista Agut - Australian Open
09:00 | Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Roger Federer - Australian Open
09:00 | Sloane Stephens v Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova - Australian Open
14:30 | Huddersfield Town - Manchester City
15:00 | Rennes - Montpellier
17:00 | Caen - Olympique Marseille
17:00 | Fulham - Tottenham Hotspur
20:30 | Napoli - Lazio
20:45 | Barcelona - Leganes
21:00 | Saint-Etienne - Olympique Lyon
21/01/2019
04:00 | Australian Open 2019
19:00 | Juventus - Chievo
21:00 | Genoa - Milan
22/01/2019
04:00 | Australian Open 2019
20:45 | Chelsea - Tottenham Hotspur
20:45 | Burton Albion - Manchester City
DERBY OF THE WEEK
Arsenal - Chelsea
Derby of the week
18:30
19/01/2019
Derby of the week
W 2.90    
   W 2.30
The odds are correct at the time of publishing
14:00 14-01-2019 and are subject to change
Football Live Scores
Tennis Live Scores