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HindustanTimes Sun,28 Dec 2014

Football

Barcelona’s unbeaten streak comes to an end
Agencies
Barcelona, January 20, 2013
First Published: 23:02 IST(20/1/2013)
Last Updated: 01:41 IST(21/1/2013)

An injury-time strike from substitute Imanol Agirretxe condemned 10-man Barcelona to a 3-2 defeat at Real Sociedad on Saturday, their first of a record-breaking La Liga season.

Lionel Messi matched another landmark by scoring in a 10th consecutive La Liga game to put Barca ahead after six minutes with Pedro Rodriguez doubling the lead. But Chory Castro pulled a goal back before the break and then got his second after 63 minutes. With Gerard Pique off the field after receiving a red card, Agirretxe got the winner in the 91st minute.

There appears to be no record out of reach for Messi, who did score in 10 straight league matches that he was involved in during the 2011-12 season, notching up 18 goals in the process.

But now he has scored in Barca’s last 10 and he equals the mark set by Ronaldo, who scored 12 in 10 games during the 1996-97 season, and Mariano Martin, who put away 18 in 10 matches between 1942 and 1943.

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Messi has now hit 15 goals in 10 games and 29 overall in the league this season, but it counted for little on the night.

Barca went into the game having set a new record for a La Liga start with 18 wins — and just one draw against Real Madrid — for 55 points from a possible 57. Despite the loss, they are still 11 points ahead of Atletico Madrid.

Blues beat Arsenal

London: Chelsea enjoyed some much-needed home comfort with goals from Juan Mata and Frank Lampard securing a 2-1 victory over Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday.

Arsenal staged a second-half revival with Theo Walcott halving the deficit at a snowy Stamford Bridge but Chelsea hung on for only their second win in six home league games since Rafa Benitez was hired as interim manager.


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