• Bangladesh pick Razzak, Sabbir for WT20
  • Ukraine protesters granted amnesty in opposition win
  • Over 100 killed in Islamist attack in northern Nigeria
  • Textile mill warehouse burns down in Narsingdi
  • Indonesia says reports of Australian spying 'mind-boggling'
  • Abducted jeweller rescued in Comilla
  • 11 Bangladeshis return home from Iraq empty-handed
  • Missing Nepal passenger plane found, no survivors: official
  • Ensure use of Bangla in ads, billboards, number plates: HC asks govt
  • Remarks of govt illogical, funny: BNP
  • DoE fines 42 factories for polluting Buriganga
  • Quasem threatened to kill captives in Al-Badr torture camp: Witness
  • India’s Tehelka editor charged with sexual assault
  • Tigers need 181 to win
  • Perera rescues Sri Lanka against Bangladesh
  • HSC, equivalent exams to begin Apr 3
  • 40 fishermen kidnapped in Sundarbans, 15 hurt
  • Bangladesh achieves global recognition in combating money laundering
  • Deal signed with Indian ONGC for 2 gas blocks
HOME  SPORTS
  
Print Friendly and PDF

Messi tops Di Stefano as Barca, Atleti go clear

Reuters . Madrid

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi (L) chips the ball past Rayo Vallecano goalkeeper Ruben Andrade to score his first goal during their La Liga match at Camp Nou stadium on Saturday. — AP photo Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi (L) chips the ball past Rayo Vallecano goalkeeper Ruben Andrade to score his first goal during their La Liga match at Camp Nou stadium on Saturday. — AP photo

Lionel Messi overhauled Alfredo Di Stefano’s La Liga goals tally as Barcelona and Atletico Madrid warmed up for midweek Champions League action with wins on Saturday that put them three points clear of Real Madrid at the top.
Back to his best after returning from a two-month injury layoff in early January, Messi struck twice in Barca’s 6-0 thrashing of Rayo Vallecano at the Nou Camp to take his total in Spain’s top flight to 228 goals from 263 matches, one more than Real Madrid great Di Stefano managed in 329 games.
Still only 26, Messi climbed above his Argentine compatriot to joint third on the all-time list behind record marksman Telmo Zarra (251) and Hugo Sanchez (234) and level with Raul.
Barcelona, who play their Champions League last 16, first leg match at Manchester City on Tuesday, and Atletico, who visit AC Milan in the competition on Wednesday, have 60 points from 24 matches, ahead of Real who play at Getafe on Sunday.
Atletico’s Raul Garcia and Diego Costa struck early to set up a 3-0 win over visitors Real Valladolid, while Villarreal’s match at home to Celta Vigo was suspended for about half an hour when what appeared to be a teargas canister was thrown on to the pitch with about three minutes remaining.
Celta were leading 1-0 and after play restarted Nolito made it 2-0 with a free kick in the 90th minute meaning Villarreal missed a chance to close to within a point of fourth-placed Athletic Bilbao.
Barca, chasing a fifth La Liga title in six years, totally outclassed Madrid-based Rayo and took the lead in the second minute when fullback Adriano cut inside from the left and his low effort scooted inside the far post.
Messi and Pedro then cracked shots off the frame of the goal before a pinpoint Cesc Fabregas pass sent Messi clear in the 36th minute and he produced a trademark chip over onrushing goalkeeper Ruben.
The four-times World Player of the Year released Alexis on the right to make it 3-0 eight minutes after the break before a moment of inspiration from Andres Iniesta helped create Barca’s fourth in the 56th.
The Spain playmaker’s backheel put Fabregas through and he squared for Pedro to tap into an empty net as a dominant Barca turned the screw on their hapless visitors.
Messi scored his second with a precise shot from the edge of the area in the 68th and Neymar crowned a near-perfect night for the home side when he came off the bench and netted a fierce long-range drive in the 89th minute.
The Brazil forward has been out injured for a month and his reappearance suggested he could play a role at Manchester City on Tuesday.
Atletico came into the game against Valladolid at their Calderon stadium after resounding losses in both legs of their King’s Cup semi-final against city rivals Real either side of a surprise 2-0 La Liga reverse at promoted Almeria.
Diego Simeone’s side needed a convincing performance to lift morale before Wednesday’s game at the San Siro and Garcia gave them the perfect start.
He picked up Gabi’s clever free kick in the third minute and netted with a first-time strike from the edge of the area.
A minute later Garcia conjured a fine assist for Costa and the Brazil-born forward lifted the ball over Valladolid keeper Diego Marino for his 21st league goal of the campaign, one behind top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo of Real.
With a two-goal cushion, Atletico played well within themselves for the rest of the match and centre back Diego Godin added a third in the 74th with a header from a Diego corner.

RESULTS
Atletico Madrid 3 (Raul Garcia 3, Diego Costa 4, Godin 74) Valladolid 0; Levante 1 (Barral 62) Almeria 0; Barcelona 6 (Adriano 2, Messi 36, 68, Sanchez 52, Pedro 56, Neymar 88) Rayo Vallecano 0; Villarreal 0 Celta Vigo 2
(Orellana 83, Nolito 90).




Reader’s Comment

comments powered by Disqus
   

Mushfiq back in charge for WT20

The Bangladesh Cricket Board put Mushfiqur Rahim back in charge as they announced 15-member squads for both the men’s and women’s edition of the upcoming ICC World Twenty20 to be held in Bangladesh. Mushfiq missed the just-concluded... Full story

Mushfiq to play in pain

Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim risked himself in the three-match one-day international series against Sri Lanka despite knowing that it could take him five or six weeks for his finger injury to heal completely. Mushfiq, who hurt the baby finger... Full story

Bangladesh, Sri Lanka ready for ODI battle

Sri Lankan cricketers Sachithra Senanayake (L) and Ajantha Mendis take shelter under an umbrella amidst drizzle at Mirpur on Sunday ahead of the first one-day international against Bangladesh today. — Sourav Loskar
Incessant rain and a soggy outfield threatened to mar the first of three one-day internationals between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, scheduled to start at 1:00pm at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium today. Rain, caused by a depression, already caused severe damage to the outfield of the... Full story

Mathews wants to keep up momentum

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews on Sunday said that the visitors will have to be on their toes against the hosts in the three-match one-day international series that begins today at Mirpur. Bangladesh came close to pulling... Full story

McCullum, Watling keep Kiwis alive

A dogged 158-run stand by century-maker Brendon McCullum and BJ Watling kept New Zealand alive in the second Test against India on Sunday, although the odds still favour the tourists. After New Zealand looked on the ropes... Full story

South Africa’s champions tag in danger

South Africa entered their Test series against Australia as undisputed world champions in the five-day form of the game. But the crushing nature of their 281-run defeat in the first Test at SuperSport Park has raised the possibility that their era of dominance may be coming to an end. Full story

Rain forces three draws in NCL

Incessant rain throughout the country forced the three games of the third round of the 15th National Cricket League end in a draw on Sunday across different venues with Sylhet already beating Dhaka a day earlier. Dhaka Metro v Barisal... Full story

Ryder’s booze-up costs him T20 spot

Jesse Ryder’s fall from grace continued Sunday when the big-hitting left-hander was left out of the New Zealand squad for the World Twenty20 starting next month in Bangladesh. Ryder’s omission comes less... Full story

Messi tops Di Stefano as Barca, Atleti go clear

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi (L) chips the ball past Rayo Vallecano goalkeeper Ruben Andrade to score his first goal during their La Liga match at Camp Nou stadium on Saturday. — AP photo
Lionel Messi overhauled Alfredo Di Stefano’s La Liga goals tally as Barcelona and Atletico Madrid warmed up for midweek Champions League action with wins on Saturday that put them three points clear of Real Madrid at the top. Back to his best after returning from a two-month... Full story

City knock Chelsea out

Manchester City striker Stevan Jovetic (R) scores his team’s opening goal past Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech (L) during their FA Cup fifth round match at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday. — AFP photo
Manchester City avenged their recent loss to Chelsea in the Premier League with a 2-0 home win on Saturday that sent them into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. City’s perfect home record in the league was spoilt last week when Chelsea pulled off a 1-0 win at the Etihad... Full story

Bayern rout Freiburg, Leverkusen slump again

Bayern Munich warmed up for Wednesday’s Champions League last 16, first-leg clash at Arsenal by trouncing Freiburg 4-0 on Saturday to stretch their Bundesliga lead to 16 points. Bayern coach Pep Guardiola—whose side... Full story

Ozil relishing facing Bayern

Arsenal’s German star Mesut Ozil has said he is relishing the challenge of facing Champions League holders Bayern Munich in Wednesday’s last 16, first leg clash at home. ‘I’m a guy who loves these games. Full story

‘Rooney contract extension not signed yet’

Reports that the England striker Wayne Rooney has signed a record-breaking new contract with Manchester United are premature, club sources said on Sunday. The Sun on Sunday newspaper reported that Rooney had signed a new four-and-a-half... Full story

Inter stun Fiorentina

Argentinean Mauro Icardi came off the bench to score a 65th-minute winner for Inter in a 2-1 win at Fiorentina which put Walter Mazzarri’s side within sight of fourth place in Serie A on Saturday. Inter, looking for only their second win in... Full story

Hamburg sack Van Marwijk

Relegation-threatened Hamburg are set to turn to experienced coach Mirko Slomka to help them avoid relegation from the Bundesliga in the wake of Bert van Marwijk’s dismissal, according to reports. Ex-Netherlands coach Van Marwijk, 61, was sacked... Full story

OFF-BEAT

Villarreal game suspended due to tear gas canister Villarreal’s game at home to Celta Vigo was briefly suspended on Saturday night with just three minutes remaining after a smoke bomb, reportedly containing tear gas, was... Full story
  • Online Poll


    Do you think that the government has successfully brought back normalcy in public life after the January 5 elections?

    • Yes
    • No
    • No comment
    Ajax Loader