Messi nets 2 in record-tying 505th Liga match, Atlético win

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Lionel Messi scored two screamers in his record-equaling 505th Spanish league appearance for Barcelona to help them stay in touch with leader Atlético Madrid on Saturday.

Messi struck twice from well outside the area as Alavés was beaten 5-1. Messi matched former teammate Xavi Hernández’s club record for the most league appearances by starting the match at Camp Nou.

Forward Francisco Trincão also scored twice in Barcelona’s win before it hosts Paris Saint-Germain in their highly anticipated Champions League clash on Tuesday.

Atlético got goals from Marcos Llorente and Ángel Correa to win at Granada 2-1 and bounce back from a draw against Celta Vigo in the last round, which ended a winning run of eight consecutive rounds.

Diego Simeone’s side, which has lost only once in 21 rounds, is eight points clear of Barcelona and titleholder Real Madrid.

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