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Another record for Messi as Barca draw

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Monday, April 01, 2013

MADRID, Spain - Lionel Messi celebrated another goal-scoring record Saturday - but Barcelona's cruise towards a 22nd title was halted when Borja Oubina hit a late equaliser which handed Celta Vigo a deserved 2-2 draw.

The visitors were without a number of first-team regulars and were punished for a slow start when Natxo Insa prodded home from close range to put Celta in front seven minutes before half-time.

The lead only lasted five minutes though as Messi released Cristian Tello to curl home a fine equaliser and the roles were reversed 18 minutes from time when Tello cut the ball back for Messi to drill low into the net. The goal was Messi's 43rd league goal of the campaign and also secured another record for the World Player of the Year.

By scoring for the 19th straight game, he became the first player to score against every team in the Spanish league in consecutive matches.

However, Celta gave their chances of survival a huge boost as Oubina headed home Fabian Orellana's cross at the back post two minutes from time.

Barca assistant manager Jordi Roura was full of praise for Messi.

"It is a unheard of record that no one has ever achieved. This shows how great this player is. With time, what this player is doing will be valued even more," said Roura, whose team remain 13 points ahead at the top of La Liga after Real Madrid were held 1-1 by Real Zaragoza.

Second-placed Real Madrid failed to take advantage of Barca's slip-up as they could only manage a 1-1 draw with Real Zaragoza.

Rodri put the hosts in front after just five minutes before Cristiano Ronaldo equalised seven minutes before halftime.

However, manager Jose Mourinho dismissed suggestions that his side had missed an opportunity to get back into the title race.

"For some time our ambition has not been to win the title again," he told a press conference.

"In the league we have already achieved finishing amongst the top three and our objective is to finish second and win every game."

Earlier, Malaga moved level with Real Sociedad in fourth spot with a 3-1 win over Rayo Vallecano.


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