Lionel Messi scores late winner as Barcelona beat Atletico Madrid 1-0

Lionel Messi made his 700th Barcelona appearance in midweek and capped it with his 613th goal against Borussia Dortmund.

He followed that up on Sunday evening with his 614th goal – a goal that won the match against Atletico Madrid.

Barca were struggling to break down a stubborn Atleti defence at the Wanda Metropolitano and the match look as though it was going to end 0-0.

In fact, Ernesto Valverde’s side had Marc-Andre ter Stegen to thank for making two sensational saves in the first-half.

But Messi had other ideas as the game edged towards injury-time.

With just a few minutes left, Messi played a one-two with Luis Suarez and side-footed the ball brilliantly into the bottom corner.

We’ve seen Messi score a goal like that dozens of times, haven’t we? He just makes it so, so easy.

That win put Barca back ahead on Real Madrid on goal difference with the clubs level on 31 points.

That goal could be the difference between Barca winning yet another La Liga title or not come the end of the season.

While Messi was busy being the match-winner on Sunday night, he could be picking up his sixth Ballon d’Or award in Paris on Monday.

Messi is the favourite to pip Virgil van Dijk to the accolade and leaked images appeared to confirm that.

The image shows that Messi has picked up 446 points from votes, while Van Dijk earned 382.

Of course, we won’t know of the viral image is for real until Monday evening but nobody would begrudge Messi getting his hands on the biggest individual prize in football for a record sixth time. 

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