Messi ties Xavi’s record as Barcelona cuts Atletico’s lead

Madrid, Mar 16 (AP): Lionel Messi scored twice as he tied Xavi Hernendez’s record of most appearances for Barcelona, putting them within four points of the Spanish league lead after beating last-placed Huesca 4-1.
For his 767th match, Messi was honored by Barcelona with a large image behind one of the goals showing him embracing Xavi as the players looked forward and pointed upward. The banner included the words “767 matches” and touching the sky.
It’s incredible, Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman said. His impact on this team is enormous. It’s amazing what he has done for this club up until now. Antoine Griezmann and scar Mingueza also scored at the Camp Nou Stadium as the Catalan club won its fourth straight league match to increase the pressure on leader Atletico Madrid.
Atletico, seeking its first league title since 2014, had a comfortable lead until recently, having won only two of its last six league games. It was held to 0-0 at Getafe on Saturday. Diego Simeone’s team will visit Barcelona in May. We always said we wouldn’t give up, Barcelona midfielder Pedri Gonzalez said.

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