​It’s almost as if he knows it’s Ballon d’Or season. 

​​Lionel Messi has now hit a ridiculous nine goals in his last six La Liga games, after coming up trumps for ​Barcelona once again to see off Atletico Madrid at Wanda Metropolitano on Sunday night.

It was far from the best game you’ll see this season, with ​Atletico getting the better of the first half and Barça edging the second, but there wasn’t much to separate the two as the game entered the dying stages.

Well… there was Messi. 

The Argentine number ten, seeing the scores still level in the final five minutes, drove forward into the Atleti half, and played a one-two with his partner in crime Luis Suarez.

Receiving the return ball on the edge of the area, the little magician stroked a deft effort beyond the despairing Jan Oblak, sparking scenes of jubilation in the visiting ranks as they returned to the top of the division ahead of Real Madrid – who had beaten Alaves on Saturday. 

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The win was ground-out by Barça, and wasn’t without its controversy. Plenty of on-lookers felt Gerard Pique merited a second booking. 

The central defender was earlier booked for a rugby tackle on Joao Felix, and walked the tight-rope throughout the second half, some feeling he was given an easier ride by officials since he was already on a booking.

​​Messi was the goalscorer, but there was another man fans felt were an unsung hero.

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​​Ultimately, the win sends Barcelona back to the top of La Liga despite a testing start to the season. Not bad for a club in crisis. 


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