Messi goals lead Barca in hunt of Atletico

Lionel Messi scores his second goal of Barcelona's La Liga win against Getafe at the Camp Nou.
Lionel Messi scores his second goal of Barcelona's La Liga win against Getafe at the Camp Nou.

Atletico Madrid have defeated Huesca to regain sole possession of the La Liga lead while Lionel Messi scored twice as Barcelona stayed in the title race with a victory over Getafe.

Angel Correa and Yannick Carrasco scored to secure a 2-0 home victory for Atletico, who move three points in front of second-place Real Madrid.

Messi's double in a 5-2 win over Getafe helped Barcelona return to third place.

The Catalan giants are two points behind Madrid and five behind Atletico with a game in hand.

"This league is very complicated, we can't relax," Atletico coach Diego Simeone said.

"We already have to start preparing for our next match."

Getafe players entered the field at the Camp Nou wearing T-shirts condemning the proposed Super League.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta had earlier on Thursday defended the largely-closed breakaway competition, which essentially folded after widespread criticism against it.

Correa opened the scoring for Atletico in the 39th minute at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium before Carrasco sealed the victory by converting a cross inside the area in the 80th.

Huesca remain in the drop zone, one point from the safety of 17th place.

Messi reached 25 league goals for the season by opening the scoring in the eighth minute and making it 3-1 in the 33rd.

The teams had traded own goals before that through Barcelona defender Clement Lenglet in the 12th and Getafe's Sofian Chakla in the 28th.

Enes Unal reduced the deficit with a penalty in the 69th, but substitute defender Ronald Araujo added Barcelona's fourth with a header in the 87th and Antoine Griezmann sealed the victory by converting a penalty in stoppage time.

Getafe are four points above the relegation zone in 15th place, having scored just 24 league goals in total - one fewer than Messi.

Real Sociedad regain fifth place by coming from behind to defeat Celta Vigo 2-1 at home, while Roberto Soldado scored twice as eighth-place Granada routed bottom side Eibar 4-1.

Australian Associated Press