Messi double leads Barca win over Valencia04 May 2021
Lionel Messi missed a penalty but still scored twice, including an exquisite free-kick, as Barcelona edged a five-goal thriller with Valencia on Sunday to stay within touching distance of the top of La Liga. After Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid both won on Saturday, there was no margin for error at Mestalla, where Barca's 3-2 win reduced the gap behind Atletico back to two points, now with four games left to play. Gabriel Paulista headed Valencia in front early in the second half before Messi missed a penalty, only to smash in from the resulting scramble. Griezmann and a superb Messi free-kick looked to have then made the victory secure but Carlos Soler's stunning strike from distance left Barcelona holding on at the end, a nerve-wracking win meaning they could overtake Atletico Madrid next weekend if they beat Diego Simeone's side at Camp Nou.