Messi show for Barca
Lionel Messi scored twice and set up a maiden Barcelona goal for Alex Song as they beat Real Zaragoza 3-1.
Last Updated: 17/11/12 10:18pm
Lionel Messi scored twice and set up a maiden Barcelona goal for Alex Song as the Catalan giants powered on at the top of the Primera Division with victory over Real Zaragoza.
Messi took his season tally for Barcelona to 22 in all competitions with strikes in 16th and 60th minutes while he also turned provider in the 28th minute to help summer signing Song open his account for the club.
Song's goal put Barca back in front after Zaragoza had drawn level through Paco Montanes.
Barca went into the match having earned 31 points from a possible 33 this season and they always looked likely to pick up another three thanks to Messi.
The Argentina international, for whom the match fell almost exactly nine years since he made his Barca debut as a 16-year-old, only just failed to hit the target with an early effort but he made no mistake just after the quarter-hour.
He fed the ball out to Jordi Alba on the left before moving to the edge of the box where he picked up a pinpoint return pass from the Spain left-back before calmly rolling his shot past Roberto Jimenez in the visiting goal.
Barca have not been so solid in defence this season as they have in recent campaigns though and their backline was breached again in the 24th minute as Zaragoza surprised their hosts by drawing level.
Alba's attempted clearance from a corner went straight to Montanes on the edge of the box and he took a touch before lashing in a shot that took a deflection as it whistled past Victor Valdes.
That was the 15th league goal Barca have conceded already this season - they only let in 29 in the whole of last season, 21 the previous campaign and 24 in 2009/10 - but they were level for just four minutes before Messi worked his magic again.
He burst his way through to the goalline before pulling the ball back to the penalty spot where the unmarked Song side-footed home for his first goal since his switch from Arsenal.
Messi himself then wrapped up the win with a precise finish on the hour mark.
He collected a cut-back from Martin Montoya on the edge of the box before curling a shot in off the base of the far post with the scrambling Roberto just unable to get there.
Andres Iniesta came close to adding a fourth in the 80th minute with an effort that hit the post but Barca were already well on their way to victory.