Barcelona 2 Ath Bilbao 1: Messi bags 650th goal with stunning free-kick as Koeman’s side maintain pressure on title race

LIONEL MESSI scored his 650th Barcelona goal with a stunning free-kick to maintain the club’s title push.

The Argentine showed he never ceases to amaze after scoring the opening goal of the night.

Lionel Messi curled in an amazing free-kick into the top corner

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Lionel Messi curled in an amazing free-kick into the top cornerCredit: EPA

From around 25-yards out in the centre of the goal, Messi hit a brilliant effort into the top corner with pinpoint precision.

The goalkeeper could only stand and watch as it whistled into the corner despite the opponent’s best attempts to keep it out.

It’s another milestone for the mini maestro with 456 of his 650 goals coming in LaLiga.

Maybe he is worth his £123million-a-year contract at the Nou Camp after all.

Barcelona’s lead lasted for 29 minutes until Athletic Bilbao grabbed an equaliser through Jordi Alba’s own goal.

A teasing cross from Raul Garcia was put in his own net by the left-back who was under pressure from Dani Garcia.

With Barcelona appearing like they were about to drop more points in the title race, Antoine Griezmann stepped up to the plate.

It was Messi's 650th Barcelona goal in all competitions

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It was Messi’s 650th Barcelona goal in all competitionsCredit: Reuters
Antoine Griezmann scored a crucial winner for Barca

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Antoine Griezmann scored a crucial winner for BarcaCredit: Reuters
Barcelona celebrate an important victory in the title race

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Barcelona celebrate an important victory in the title raceCredit: AP:Associated Press

It was a brilliantly worked goal as Barcelona kept patient in possession before Ousmane Dembele found Oscar Mingueza on the overlap.

The defender squared it across and the Frenchman couldn’t miss from six-yards.

The crucial three points lifts Barcelona up to second but they remain ten points adrift of league leaders Atletico Madrid.

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