|Augsburg’s Koo Ja-cheol (left) and Leverkusen’s Sebastian Boenisch challenge for the ball on Saturday. Augsburg lost 2-1. ( AFP-Yonhap News)|
BARCELONA (AP) ― Lionel Messi scored twice to pass 300 goals for his career, extending his record-setting Spanish league scoring streak to 14 games as Barcelona rallied for a 2-1 win at Granada.
Odion Ighalo put the host ahead in the 26th minute, and Messi tied it in the 50th when he scored on a rebound of Cesc Fabregas’ shot, Messi’s 300th competitive goal for Barcelona. Messi curled in a free kick in the 73rd for his 17th multigoal game of the season and needs two goals to reach 50 for the third straight season.
Barcelona (21-1-2) opened a 15-point lead over second-place Atletico Madrid (16-5-2), which is at Vallodolid on Sunday.
Defending champion Real Madrid (14-5-4), which hosts Rayo Vallecano on Sunday, is 19 points back, its largest deficit since it was 20 points behind league-leading Atletico Madrid in May 1996.
Arsenal sank to another low Saturday with a 1-0 loss at home to second-tier Blackburn in the fifth round of the FA Cup, leaving manager Arsene Wenger facing the possibility of an eighth-straight season without any trophies.
Knocked out of the League Cup by fourth-tier Bradford in the quarterfinals two months ago, Arsenal was jeered by its fans after Colin Kazim-Richards scored for Blackburn in the 72nd minute.
In 17 seasons with the Gunners, Wenger had never lost to a lower-division team.
“It’s painful and disappointing to lose a game like that,” said Wenger.