Barcelona re-established their five-point lead at the top of La Liga after a 2-0 win over Villarreal at the Estadio de la Cerámica on Sunday and Lionel Messi finally equaled Gerd Müller’s long-standing record for scoring the most goals for one club in the top five European leagues.
The league leaders had struggled to breakdown a resolute Villarreal side but the sending off of Dani Raba for a challenge on Sergio Busquets allowed Barcelona to take control.
Messi initiated the move for the opening goal which saw Paco Alcacer slip in Luis Suárez to skip around Sergio Asenjo and roll the ball into the net.
And seven minutes from time Messi made absolutely certain. Busquets won back possession as Villarreal carelessly played out from the back and threading the ball into Messi’s feet, the Argentinian darted between two defenders to fire in the second.
The goal was Messi’s 49th of 2017 and 18th for this season but more importantly was his 525th goal for Barcelona in 605 apperances.
Müller’s record has been unrivalled since 1979 after the legendary German had reached the same figure in 572 appearances for Bayern Munich.
Barcelona’s victory leaves them five points clear of Valencia with Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid six and eight points back respectively.
In Ligue 1, Lucas Ocampos scored his sixth league goal of the season as Marseille beat Saint-Étienne 3-0 in the Stade Vélodrome.
Valère Germain had already put the home side two-nil up before Ocampos added a wonderful third. Cutting inside from the left, the former River Plate forward opened his body and bent the ball inside the far post to continue his excellent start to the campaign.