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Barcelona: Lionel Messi scores his 400th La Liga goal

15 January 2019

Cadena Cope says after finding himself sidelined by Valverde, Coutinho has had his agents go to the board for reasons why he is out of the team.

"Messi's numbers are stratospheric", Ernesto Valverde told the press after the win over Eibar, per Goal. "He is from another galaxy".

Cristiano Ronaldo remains the second highest scorer with 311 goals in 292 games while Spain's Telmo Zarra is third with 251 goals in 278 games.

Barcelona stayed five points ahead of second-placed Atletico Madrid, which edged Levante 1-0 thanks to a penalty from Antoine Griezmann, as the league reached its midway point.

Real Madrid are 13 points behind in fifth but the European champions will move into the top four with victory over Real Betis later on Sunday (kick-off 19:45 GMT).

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After an unusually quiet first 45 minutes, Messi burst into life after the restart and claimed his milestone goal - his 13th in eight appearances against Eibar. Since then, Messi has left an indelible imprint on Spanish football and has scored some of the most memorable goals in La Liga history.

Messi's moment came in the 53rd minute and it was Suarez who started it, stealing back possession after a heavy touch from Anaitz Arbilla.

The Ousmane Dembele disciplinary saga earlier in the season has since been replaced by the uncertainty around Philippe Coutinho's future while their defensive woes have been a constant theme as has Malcom's lack of playing time.

"He should be proud", said Suarez, who scored Barcelona's other two goals.

Busquets pinged the ball left to Coutinho, who twice exchanged with Suarez before the Uruguayan, off balance, found the far corner. However, Barcelona lost the match to Levante by a 2-1 score. He has 17 goals already this season. For Eibar the defeat means they have failed to win their last six LaLiga clashes, and sit just three points above the relegation zone.

Barcelona: Lionel Messi scores his 400th La Liga goal