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  • Sports - Football - Scores & Fixtures
  • Updated: December 20, 2020

La Liga: Messi Equals Pele Record In 2-2 Valencia Draw

Lionel Messi scored his 643rd goal for Barcelona on Saturday to equal Pele's record of goals for a single club as the Spanish giants were held 2-2 by Valencia.

Messi, 33, headed in from Jordi Alba's cross after his first-half penalty was saved to equal the mark set by the Brazilian great for Santos.

"These figures are impressive, we will never have a player so effective at this club," admitted coach Ronald Koeman.

"That's why he is the No 1. What he's done for this club, it is impressive."

READ ALSO: La Liga: Barcelona Defeat Leader, Real Sociedad 2-1, Title Race Open

But Messi was eventually left frustrated on Saturday as a dogged Valencia forced a draw to leave Barcelona eight points behind leaders Atletico Madrid, who beat Elche 3-1 earlier in the day.

"There were times tonight with good football, we had total control of the match, especially after leading 2-1 where we tried to get the third, but there were also times when we lost the ball in the danger zones," added Koeman.

"What worries me is that sometimes the team doesn't know what the game is about.

"We know we're a team that always likes to attack and score goals, but there are also times when you have to defend and control the game.

'TITLE RACE NOT OVER'

"But the race for the title is not yet lost, we are far behind, but it's a very complicated season for everyone. In two months, the situation may be totally different."

Barcelona started slowly and went a goal behind to Mouctar Diakhaby's unchallenged header from a corner after half an hour.

Antoine Griezmann earned the penalty that led to Messi's record-equalling goal when the France attacker was nudged over by Jose Gaya.

Jaume Domenech saved Lionel Messi's free-kick, but the ball rebounded, and from Alba's dinked cross, Argentina forward headed the ball into the net to draw level with Pele.

Barcelona went ahead thanks to a superb scissor kick from Uruguay's Ronald Araujo.

But Valencia's pressure was rewarded when Maxi Gomez got in front of Barca central defender Oscar Mingueza to turn in a cross and equalize.

Philippe Coutinho drove a shot just wide with 12 minutes remaining and Messi curled a free-kick wide but Barcelona was forced to share the points.

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Oladimeji Balogun
Oladimeji Balogun

Oladimeji Balogun is a graduate of the University of Ilorin where he studied Microbiology, he is a w...

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SPORTS SPOTLIGHT

Lionel Messi
Lionel
Messi
AR Argentina
  • HEIGHT

    169cm

  • WEIGHT

    72kg

  • AGE

    35

Antoine Griezmann
Antoine
Griezmann
FR France
  • HEIGHT

    176cm

  • WEIGHT

    73kg

  • AGE

    32

Jordi Alba
Jordi
Alba
ES Spain
  • HEIGHT

    170cm

  • WEIGHT

    68kg

  • AGE

    34

SPORTS SPOTLIGHT

Barcelona
Barcelona

Futbol Club Barcelona commonly referred to as Barcelona and colloquially known as Barça is a Spanish professional football club base...

Valencia
Valencia

Valencia Club de Fútbol commonly referred to as Valencia CF or simply Valencia is a Spanish professional football club in Valencia....

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