Messi double powers Barca to big win over Getafe

Barca earned a penalty in added time but Messi surrendered the chance to score a hat-trick and handed the ball to Antoine Griezmann who slammed in the spot-kick.

Antoine Griezmann celebrates scoring Barcelona's fifth goal against Getafe with Lionel Messi.   -  Reuters

Lionel Messi scored twice as Barcelona crushed Getafe 5-2 on Thursday to stay in the hunt for the La Liga title.

Messi gave Barca an early lead with the help of a pin-point pass from Sergio Busquets but Getafe pulled level with an own goal by Clement Lenglet.

The visitor then conceded a calamitous own goal when Sofian Chakla's backpass deceived keeper David Soria and trickled over the line.

Barcelona 5-2 Getafe: Scorecard

Messi extended Barca's lead before halftime, hitting the post then following up to net from a tight angle and to move on to 25 La Liga goals for the 12th season in a row.

But the Catalans slowed down in the second half and Turkish forward Enes Unal made for an exciting finish by converting a penalty in the 69th minute following a VAR review for a foul by Ronald Araujo.

Getafe had a couple of half-chances to level but Uruguayan defender Araujo made amends for his foul on Unal by heading in Messi's corner in the 87th minute to effectively kill the game.

Barca earned a penalty in added time but Messi surrendered the chance to score a hat-trick and handed the ball to Antoine Griezmann who slammed in the spot-kick.

 

The win took Barca back up to third place on 68 points, five behind leaders Atletico Madrid but with a game in hand.

"It was a very strange game but the team knew how to get the job done and win which is the important thing," said Araujo.

"We suffered a little bit in the second half, we could have been more comfortable. Every game we have left is like a final and every team will give everything."

Getafe gave Koeman's side a guard of honour for their recent Copa del Rey triumph but the visitors also wore T-shirts saying "Earn It", criticising Barcelona's decision to sign up to the breakaway European Super League.

"The news had a big impact on me, any clubs want to compete in Europe and we want to earn it on the pitch," said Getafe's Angel Rodriguez.

"We're a humble club who played in the Europa League so obviously I'm totally against it."