Messi’s 26th minute free-kick was enough to defeat Diego Simeone’s men and open up an eight-point lead at the top of La Liga.
It also extended Barca’s undefeated run in the league, as they have won 21 and drawn six of their 27 games this season.
The Argentine’s last three appearances have all been marked with a goal from a free-kick, the second time he has done so in his career, taking his tally to 24 goals scored from a free kick in La Liga, a record in Spanish football.
But it wasn’t just his goal which caught the eye against Atletico. Early in the first half, Messi picked up the ball deep into opposition territory and did something special.
Surrounded by three men from all angles, he pulled off a brilliant flick and turn of pace to get away from the crowd of defenders.
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