Lionel Messi scored twice for his eighth straight start and reached 90 goals for the calendar year, leading Barcelona over second-place Atletico Madrid 4-1 in the Spanish league Sunday night and opening a 13-point lead over defending champion Real Madrid
‘’This league is ours to lose,’’ Barcelona defender Gerard Pique said.
After Real Madrid stumbled to a 2-2 tie against Espanol earlier in the evening, Atletico went ahead in the 31st minute of the late game when Diego Costa stripped Messi of the ball in midfield and fed Radamel Falcao, who chipped goalkeeper Victor Valdes for his 17th league goal this season.
Adriano tied the score with a curling left-footed shot that went in off the crossbar in the 36th, and Sergio Busquets put Barcelona ahead in the 45th after Atletico failed to clear a corner kick. Messi scored in the 57th minute off a pass from Alexis Sanchez and then stole the ball from Diego Godin to score in the 88th.