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How Messi tormented Madrid in El Clasico

Tactics Board
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Messi's 500 Barca goals: Inside the numbers

Five Aside
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Lionel Messi's Clasico for the ages, Arsenal surprise us, Inter in trouble

With free-flowing action, style, controversy, and drama, the FC crew debate if it can be marked as the best El Clasico ever.

Sometimes they live up to the hype. Sometimes they surpass it.

From the neutral's perspective, Sunday night's Clasico took it to another level. No matchup in the world has as much talent on the pitch even with Neymar missing and Gareth Bale succumbing to injury after just more than half an hour, and few had as much drama, individual displays of talent, handbrake turns in the narrative and end-to-end excitement as what we witnessed.

And, as far as Lionel Messi is concerned, we've had the umpteenth...

Lionel Messi reaches 500: Barcelona icon's most important goals

Lionel Messi stunned Real Madrid on his way to an incredible Barcelona milestone.
Lionel Messi stunned Real Madrid on his way to an incredible Barcelona milestone.

Not many players reach 500 goals for their club. Even fewer reach it in the spectacular fashion Lionel Messi did on Sunday. 

Having already scored once, the Argentine forward applied the finishing touch to a move that had begun by the Barcelona corner flag as Luis Enrique's side beat Real Madrid 3-2 to move to the top of La Liga.

Twelve years have passed since a floppy-haired Messi scored his first Barca goal, lobbing Albacete goalkeeper Raul Valbuena. In the years that have followed,...

Lionel Messi keeps title race alive as Barcelona win Clasico at Real Madrid

Lionel Messi stuns the Bernabeu to move Barcelona Level on points with Real Madrid atop La Liga.

Five thoughts from a La Liga weekend which saw Barcelona win Sunday's Clasico 3-2 at Real Madrid to reopen the title race.

1. Messi timing perfect

After Barcelona's Champions League exit to Juventus last week there was a lot of talk about how Lionel Messi had not scored in either leg against the Serie A side, and then about how he had not netted in any of his last six Clasicos.

Any idea of Messi as a spent force was pretty laughable after Sunday's match at the Bernabeu. The 29-year-old, who...

Lionel Messi torments Madrid as Barcelona breathe life in La Liga race

Lionel Messi settled El Clasico in incredible style with a late, late winner against Real Madrid.
Lionel Messi settled El Clasico in incredible style with a late, late winner against Real Madrid.

Lionel Messi delivered a sensational display to hand Barcelona a 3-2 win against Real Madrid on Sunday, in one of the most entertaining Clasicos in years.

Real Madrid were three points ahead of their rivals atop La Liga with one game in hand, but Zinedine Zidane still wheeled out his big guns in an attacking 4-3-3, and was rewarded when Casemiro hit the opener.

But Barca had Messi who, in Neymar's absence, was handed a free role behind the strikers in a 4-3-1-2. The Argentine terrorised Madrid,...

 By PA Sport

Eden Hazard is second only to Leo Messi 'ability wise' - Cesc Fabregas

Chelsea overcame Tottenham in a back-and-forth thriller at Wembley to make it to the FA Cup final.
FC's Steve Nicol analyses the high octane FA Cup semifinal between Chelsea and Spurs, and how Conte's subs made an impact.

Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard can be "unstoppable" if he is more selfish and is second only in ability to Leo Messi, according to teammate Cesc Fabregas.

Hazard and Fabregas came off the substitutes' bench to have influential roles in Chelsea's 4-2 FA Cup semifinal win over Tottenham at Wembley on Saturday.

Belgium playmaker Hazard has rediscovered the scintillating form of Chelsea's last title-winning season, in 2014-15, to fire the Blues to the top of the Premier League and towards a possible double.

The...

Lionel Messi turns frustration into match-winning Clasico performance

With free-flowing action, style, controversy, and drama, the FC crew debate if it can be marked as the best El Clasico ever.
Dan Thomas and Alejandro Moreno break down Lionel Messi and Barcelona's last-gasp victory over Real Madrid in El Clasico.
Lionel Messi stuns the Bernabeu to move Barcelona Level on points with Real Madrid atop La Liga.
With Barca firmly back in the La Liga title race, the FC panel don't see how Madrid can focus on both competitions at once.

MADRID -- A couple of months ago I was interviewing Thierry Henry and we got to talking about Lionel Messi. Like most of us, even this superlative French athlete is left gasping for breath when he watches his former teammate play and grasping for superlatives when he talks about him. But he shared a little anecdote.

Henry mentioned that part of Messi's magic is that even in training he'll provide performances, skill, sporting aggression and explosiveness like those which won Sunday's amazing...