Апреля 24 2018

Valverde delights at Barca record

Апреля 24 2018, 07:08 | Van Peters

GETTY Lionel Messi says Paco Alcacer can leave Barcelona

Lionel Messi

The Argentinian opened the scoring with a brilliant free kick and added a second to ensure the hosts were up 2-0 at half-time.

And Valverde was pleased with his side's showing. Left back Jordi Alba has undergone the most dramatic transformation under Valverde after falling out of favour under Luis Enrique, and has developed a particularly profitable understanding with Messi.

He always seemed to have that X-factor about him but Ousmane Dembele has taken some time to groom himself into the Barcelona philosophy.

Messi was undoubtedly the best player on the pitch, but Philippe Coutinho also impressed throughout for Barcelona. Roberto has become a key player for Valverde.

Ahead of Saturday's match, Valverde said he would have to assess whether his talisman needed resting against Leganes after the team's final training session, per Marca.

After being picked out by Philippe Coutinho, Messi then doubled the score-line, holding off two defenders before finding the net with a trademark finish, which he nearly passed into the goal. As with three minutes remaining, the 30-year-old bagged his hat-trick after eventually receiving possession around six yards from the Leganes goal before lifting his attempt past the encroaching Cuellar to secure a potentially title-defining three points.

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And a mere five minutes later, the Argentine wizard was at it again, as he tucked home his 28th league goal of the campaign to double the La Liga champions-elect's advantage. They are seven games short of becoming the first team to complete a 38-game Liga season unbeaten.

"It's a record which has been held by La Real for a very long time, which shows how tough it is to beat it".

Leganes ought to have scored straight after the break when Claudio Beauvue headed narrowly over the goal after replacing Nordin Amrabat.

The visitors produced a scare for Barca in the 68th minutes as Nabil El Zhar took a great first touch to control a killer pass on the edge of the box and drilled a shot into the bottom left corner in trademark fashion.

It's suggested Villarreal and Celta Vigo are also keen.

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