Lionel Messi scored twice as Barcelona beat Athletic to go third in La Liga.

Lionel Messi scored twice as Barcelona beat Athletic to go third in La Liga.

Athletic took an early lead by way of Inaki Williams, however teenager Pedri equalised with a header quickly after.

Messi, who additionally hit the publish twice, then scored when he collected Pedri’s backheel and shot previous Unai Simon.

A robust first-time shot from Messi made it 3-1 and Barcelona held on for the victory, regardless of a late 20-yard strike from Athletic’s Iker Muniain.

The win takes Ronald Koeman’s aspect above Actual Sociedad and Villarreal; they’re 5 factors behind second-placed Actual Madrid and 7 adrift of leaders Atletico Madrid, who’ve two video games in hand.

This was the primary sport for Athletic since Marcelino changed former head coach Gaizka Garitano, who was sacked hours after Sunday’s 1-Zero win over Elche.

Marcelino’s aspect wanted simply three minutes to go forward as Williams sprinted clear, then lower inside defender Clement Lenglet to attain.

Nevertheless, their lead lasted solely 11 minutes as Messi’s cross went over Simon’s head and Frenkie de Jong hooked the ball to Pedri to equalise.

Messi’s first purpose got here simply earlier than half time following a one-two with Pedri and he scored his second with a robust first-time strike following Antoine Griezmann’s sq. move.

Argentina ahead Messi then gave the ball away and Muniain scored from Alex Berenguer’s move nevertheless it was not sufficient to disclaim Barcelona a win.

Since dropping 3-Zero at residence to Juventus within the Champions League on eight December, Barcelona have gone seven La Liga matches unbeaten, with 5 wins and two attracts.

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