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Lionel Messi’s brace against Valencia keeps Barcelona title hopes alive


In a thrilling conclusion to the Spanish national season, there are just two points left between Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Barcelona, ​​who will face Atletico on Saturday.

Gabriel gave Valencia the lead shortly after halftime in Sunday’s game at Mestalla Stadium as he headed from a corner, but Barcelona scored three goals in 11 minutes to reverse the deficit.

Messi equalized after having a penalty saved by Jasper Cillessen and Antoine Griezmann tapped closely to give Barcelona the advantage, before Messi secured his second with a superb free kick.

Carlos Soler’s long-term effort made the final minutes tense for Barcelona, ​​but the visitors held on.

“We’re still alive, we have to give the team a big compliment, the way they played,” Barcelona assistant coach Alfred Schreuder said.

“I think we played very well in the first half, we created a lot of good opportunities. But after Valencia’s 1-0 (lead) I think we reacted very well.”

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After losing to Granada on Thursday, the victory brought Barcelona to points level with second-placed Real Madrid with four games to go in the season.

Elsewhere, Inter Milan clinched their first Serie A title in 11 years, ending Juventus’ reign of domination in Italian football.

Lionel Messi’s brace against Valencia keeps Barcelona title hopes alive

Atalanta’s failure to win over Sassuolo, combined with Inter’s 2-0 victory over Crotone on Saturday, gave Antonio Conte’s side an unassailable lead at the top of the league.

Juventus, whose streak of nine consecutive league titles was ended by Inter, needed two late goals from Cristiano Ronaldo on Sunday to secure a 2-1 victory over Udinese.

In France, as in Spain, the elite are set for a tense final with a point separating Lille and Paris Saint-Germain at the top of the standings.

AS Monaco and Lyon, the two teams in third and fourth in Ligue 1, played a dramatic match on Sunday.

The game featured five red cards in total, four of which came as spirits flared at the final whistle, and ended 3-2 in favor of Lyon after an 89th-minute winner from 17-year-old Rayan Cherki.

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