Lionel Messi celebrated the birth of his second son by coming off the bench to score the winner as Barcelona came from behind to claim a vital 2-1 win away at Atletico Madrid on Saturday. Real Madrid remain two points behind Barca at the top of the table after Cristiano Ronaldo became the club’s all-time leading scorer in Spain’s La Liga with five goals in a 6-0 rout of Espanyol.
Messi started on the sidelines having missed training on Friday to attend the birth, a day after returning from Argentina international duty. However, he was still to make the decisive contribution as he nonchalantly flicked home the winner 11 minutes from time after Neymar had cancelled out Fernando Torres’s opener.
Earlier, Ronaldo silenced any critics about his lack of early season form by scoring five times in a La Liga match for the second time in five months. The Portuguese international slotted home the opener from Luka Modric’s wonderful pass before doubling his tally from the penalty spot after Gareth Bale had been felled inside the area.
Bale crossed for Ronaldo to complete his 32nd hat-trick for Madrid and the reigning FIFA Ballon d’Or winner then turned provider himself for Karim Benzema to tap home a fourth before half-time. Ronaldo finished off another unselfish piece of play by Bale before smashing home his fifth ten minutes from time. The former Manchester United man’s five-goal haul takes him ahead of Madrid legends Raul and Alfredo di Stefano to become the club’s all-time leading scorer in La Liga with 330 goals.