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Messi makes it 90

Leaders Barcelona struck a potentially decisive blow in the La Liga title race when Lionel Messi scored twice in a 4-1 win at home to second-placed Atletico Madrid to move nine points clear at the top last night.

The victory moved Barca 13 points ahead of ailing champions Real Madrid, who were held to a 2-2 draw at home by lowly Espanyol.

Barcelona fought back after Radamel Falcao gave Atletico a deserved lead. A magnificent strike from Adriano levelled the scores, and Sergio Busquets and a second-half brace from Messi completed the scoring.

It was the Argentine’s 25th goal in La Liga and 90th for club and country in 2012.

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