Messi is the leading top goal scorer for Spain La Liga

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Lionel Messi scored two first-half goals to help Barcelona beat Real Betis on Sunday La Liga match.

Messi has scored a total of 86 goals this year, an incredible record that surpassed Gerd Mueller’s record of 85 goals in a calendar year .

He beats the German legend’s record set in 1972, and now he has scored 23 goals in La Liga this season, six more goals than Radamel Falcao who hit five for Atletico Madrid in their win.

Today match in Spain Primera Division: Rayo Vallecano vs Real Zaragoza

It did not take long for Messi to equal Mueller’s record with his side’s first real attack on 16 minutes, making a diagonal run across the Betis defence before hitting a left footed shot into the right hand corner.

His history-making moment came nine minutes later when he struck from almost an identical position after good play from Adriano and Andres Iniesta.

Betis had started and finished the better side in Seville, Salva Sevilla had a header well saved by Victor Valdes on three minutes and they hit the woodwork on three occasions in the second-half.

Adrian in the Betis goal then made an acrobatic save to deny Xavi Hernandez, and the home side appeared out of the game until substitute Alvaro Vadillo played a clever pass to Ruben Castro who finished coolly to reduce Barca’s lead before the interval.

Valdes saved Barca six minutes into the second period, plucking a left-wing volley from Sevilla from under the crossbar.

The game continued from end-to-end at a frantic pace without many clear-cut chances until Barca’s Javier Mascherano struck his own post whilst trying to clear a corner with twenty minutes remaining.

Jorge Molina then hit a post with a fierce shot while at the other end Adrian blocked well from Pedro Rodriguez before Jordi Alba hit the bar when he should have scored.

Barca were in danger of conceding until the end but held on for a vital three points where rivals Real Madrid lost 1-0 only two weeks ago.

The win keeps Barca six points ahead of Atletico Madrid at the top of La Liga who had earlier thrashed Deportivo La Coruna 6-0.

Falcao became the first La Liga player in a decade to score five to keep the pressure on Barca.

He had already hit a double along with a Diego Costa header to put Atletico out of sight by half-time, his second smashed on the half-volley direct from a throw-in.

He completed his hat-trick with a second-half penalty before hitting two more to make him the first player to hit five in a La Liga game since Fernando Morientes for Real Madrid against Las Palmas in 2002.

It was Atletico’s eighth straight home win of the campaign.

A hapless looking Deportivo side remain bottom of the table on 11 points, level with Espanyol.

Also on Sunday, Levante thrashed Mallorca 4-0 with goals from Obafemi Martins, David Navarro, Ruben Garcia and Vicente Iborra to move into sixth position.

A first-half header from Aritz Aduriz, his ninth of the season, was enough for Athletic to edge a competitive encounter with Celta Vigo.

On Saturday Real Madrid kept in touch with a 3-2 win at Valladolid, but remain five points behind Atletico in third.

Spanish La Liga results

Levante 4 Real Mallorca 0
Athletic Bilbao 1 Celta Vigo 0
Atletico Madrid 6 Deportivo La Coruna 0
Real Betis 1 Barcelona 2

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