Feb 16, 2013, 5:33 PM EST
Two weeks after knocking off Real Madrid, Granada positioned themselves for an even bigger upset when they took a 26th minute lead today on visiting Barcelona. But after taking halftime to think it over, Lionel Messi, who came into Saturday’s match with 299 career all-competition goals, decided Barça wasn’t going to replicate their rivals’ error. Thanks to his second half double, Messi brought Barcelona back for a 2-1 victory.
The double raises Messi’s season total to 48 goals in 36 games. His 37 league tallies are 13 more than second-best Cristiano Ronaldo. He’s also scored 13 times (in 11 games) since the turn of the calendar.
Messi’s first came with Granada packed deep into their own end just after halftime. Cesc Fabregas let loose from 23 yards, and when Granada goalkeeper Toño blocked the shot back in front of goal. With Messi having peeled away from the defense after Fabregas released the shot, he was in perfect position for the put back:
Messi’s second could have been a response to Gareth Bale’s mid-week golazo, with a direct kick from the middle of the field giving the Barcelona star his choice for posts from just over 24 yards out. He chose left:
The win leaves Barcelona 15 points up on Atlético Madrid, who play at Real Valladolid tomorrow. They have a +53 goal difference and is on pace for 126 goals and a record 103 points.
They also take on Mario Balotelli and Milan on Wednesday in UEFA Champions League.
Dec 7, 2013, 4:20 PM EST
Obviously, this is also the coldest kickoff for an MLS championship match … by a long, long way, in fact:
Dec 7, 2013, 3:40 PM EST
RSL’s two injury doubts are ready, while Sporting rolls with the XI that got them to MLS Cup 2013.
Dec 7, 2013, 3:05 PM EST
Looking at how today’s match might play out from the visitors side:
Dec 7, 2013, 3:05 PM EST
Bayern stay four points above Bayern Leverkusen, who are now six above Dortmund in the Bundesliga table.
MLS Cup preview: Real Salt Lake meets Sporting Kansas City to decide Major League Soccer’s 18th championship
Dec 7, 2013, 3:00 PM EST
Two well-regarded American coaches, two super defenses and record cold temperatures are the dominant sub-plots:
Dec 7, 2013, 2:47 PM EST
Shocks results steal the limelight but there’s also big wins for Palace, Spurs and Liverpool in a busy day of action:
Dec 7, 2013, 2:27 PM EST
Spurs put in dominant display as AVB’s men continue their resurgence by slaying bottom club Sunderland:
Dec 7, 2013, 2:13 PM EST
FIFA have changed the times of six World Cup fixtures, including the scheduled kickoff time for USA – Portugal.
Dec 7, 2013, 1:19 PM EST
After Saturday’s 4-1 loss to Liverpool, Sam Allardyce appeared frustrated. So, too, are many of West Ham’s fans.
Dec 7, 2013, 12:51 PM EST
After yet another poor defensive display, Mourinho is worried about the defensive solidity of his Chelsea side:
Dec 7, 2013, 12:23 PM EST
Cardiff are the ones left fearing the relegation zone, after a revived Crystal Palace made victory look easy.
Dec 7, 2013, 12:23 PM EST
Can Altidore get his second goal in as many games when Tottenham come to town? Watch live, here:
Dec 7, 2013, 12:16 PM EST
Inconsistent Norwich will be thrilled to have put a bit of distance between themselves and the drop zone.
Dec 7, 2013, 12:10 PM EST
Stoke City pulled off a huge shock at the Britannia, as they beat high-flying Chelsea 3-2 on Saturday thank to Oussama Assaidi‘s late winner. The winger, on-loan from Liverpool, smashed home a beauty in stoppage time to seal a magnificent win for the Potters and send them comfortably into mid-table. In a topsy-turvy affair, Chelsea…
Dec 7, 2013, 12:03 PM EST
Saints pin back City after terrific display from the home side at St. Mary’s:
Dec 7, 2013, 11:58 AM EST
Liverpool pushed West Ham even closer to the danger zone, although the visitors’ own goals gave the Reds a hand.
Dec 7, 2013, 11:00 AM EST
Saints striker bags absolute stunner with mazy run and magical finish:
Dec 7, 2013, 9:56 AM EST
Watch on as the PL pays a fitting tribute to Mandela:
Dec 7, 2013, 9:52 AM EST
Newcastle grabbed an historic win at Old Trafford on Saturday, with David Moyes’ United looking utterly devoid of ideas.
Dec 7, 2013, 9:44 AM EST
Chelsea look to keep the heat up on Arsenal, will the Potters stop Mourinho’s men? Watch live, here:
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