Football

Messi passes Pele as top scorer at a single club

Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring his side's third goal during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Valladolid and Barcelona at the Jose Zorrilla stadium in Valladolid, Spain.   | Photo Credit: AP

Barcelona turned on the style to thrash Real Valladolid 3-0 away in La Liga on Tuesday as Lionel Messi scored his 644th goal to surpass Pele as the all-time record scorer for a single club.

Messi finally got his first assist of the season when he picked out defender Clement Lenglet with a splendid cross and the Frenchman rose to head Barca in front after 21 minutes.

The Argentine also had a hand in Barca's second goal, laying on a pass for right back Sergino Dest to latch on to down the right flank and play a cross into the path of Martin Braithwaite, who slid in to score in the 35th minute.

Messi capped a brilliant individual and team display with a splendid goal midway through the second half, running in behind to meet a pass from teenager Pedri and slotting into the far bottom corner to eclipse Pele's scoring mark with Santos.

Messi almost scored a second in added time when he raced through on goal but fired against the post from a tight angle.

It was Barca's first away league win in five matches but they remain fifth, moving on to 24 points after 14 games.

Atletico Madrid are top with 32 points from 13 games after a 2-0 win at Real Sociedad earlier on Tuesday.

In Serie A, 10-man Juventus crashed to its first defeat of the season — going down 3-0 at home against Fiorentina.

The loss came hours after the champion learned it must play the match against Napoli which was cancelled on October 4 after Napoli decided not to travel to Turin because of COVID-19 cases.

Juventus is fourth and seven points behind leader AC Milan. Napoli is now third.

The champion got off to a terrible start with Fiorentina’s Franck Ribery setting up Dusan Vlahovic for the opener after just three minutes.

Juventus played most of the match a man down after Juan Cuadrado was sent off on 17 minutes for a reckless sliding tackle on Gaetano Castrovilli.

The referee’s yellow card turned to red after a VAR viewing. Not even Cristiano Ronaldo could make the difference. He missed chances in the first half and a header on target after the break ruled offside.

- With inputs from AFP

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Feb 27, 2021 4:03:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/messi-passes-pele-as-top-scorer-at-a-single-club/article33398964.ece

Next Story