Messi hits brace to salvage point for Barcelona

Lionel Messi Luis Suarez Barcelona Champions League 2018-19

Lionel Messi Luis Suarez Barcelona Champions League 2018-19More

Then all the focus will be on Wednesday's clasico, the first leg of a Copa del Rey semi-final that has the potential to be the next thrilling game involving Barcelona.

It was a hard-fought point as his team had to come back after being 2-0 down in the first half, thanks to a goal from Kevin Gameiro and a penalty converted by Dani Parejo.

With his second strike, Messi took his goal tally in La Liga to 21 in 20 matches.

However, the cheers around the Nou Camp were silenced when Messi retreated to the sidelines for treatment on what appeared to be a dead leg.

Marcelino's side's strategy of intense pressing and rapid counter-attacks paid off with their two goals while their organisation and discipline prevented Barca from hitting top gear, even through Sergi Roberto nearly equalised before the interval when his shot hit the post.

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It extends their lead at the top of the table to six points, but both second-placed Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid in third can close the gap on them when they play against Real Betis and Alaves, respectively, on Sunday.

Sergi Roberto hit the post and Messi nearly equalised with a superb volley on the run as Barcelona began to dominate. I can't say exactly what problem he has, I don't know, ' he told a press conference after the match.

"We will have to wait to see what medical staff say".

Okay Yokuslu scored 17 minutes from time to give the hosts a much-needed victory, only their sixth of the season, to end a five-match losing streak.

While Madrid have been far from their best this season, the absence of Messi would go a long way to levelling the playing field in Wednesday's cup tie, which will take place at the Camp Nou.

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Jordi Alba replaced Nelson Semedo at the break as Barcelona upped their game at the start of the second stanza.

With centre-back Gerard Pique off the pitch having a head injury treated, Sergi Roberto sent Daniel Wass tumbling as they challenged for Cheryshev's cross and Parejo converted from the spot.

Gameiro netted the opener for Los Che in the 27th minute of the game. "If he's in good shape, he'll play on Wednesday [against Madrid]".

Getafe's 0-0 draw at Levante was marred by 11 Getafe fans being arrested for provoking a clash with rival supporters outside the stadium in Valencia.

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