Barcelona's forward Lionel Messi (L) vies with Valencia's midfielder Enzo Perez (R) during the Spanish league at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on Sunday. -AFP
Barcelona closed to within two points of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga as Lionel Messi scored twice in a thrilling 4-2 win over 10-man Valencia at Camp Nou on Sunday.
Earlier, Antoine Griezmann scored a stunning free-kick as Atletico Madrid compounded a week to forget for Sevilla with a 3-1 at the Vicente Calderon. Barca needed to come from behind to keep the pressure on Madrid as Eliaquim Mangala headed Valencia in front.
But the on-loan Manchester City defender was sent-off for pulling down Luis Suarez after the Uruguayan had leveled and Messi smashed home the resulting penalty.
Munir El Haddadi briefly leveled for the 10 men before half-time, but Messi and finally Andre Gomes with his first Barca goal sealed the three points. Madrid still also have a game in hand over their title rivals. "We deserved to win by a bigger margin," Barca boss Luis Enrique.