The God's Given Lionel Messi - messilegend

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Messi Is Undeniably The Hot Favorite To Win FIFA World Player of The Year 2009!

Messi Scored His 34th Goal In All Competitions! He is surely the best bet to win FIFA World Player of the Year 2009!


Henry strikes late as Barcelona draws at Valencia
MADRID (AP): Thierry Henry scored a late equalizer as Spanish league leader Barcelona drew 2-2 at Valencia on Saturday.

Valencia goalkeeper Cesar Sanchez misplayed Lionel Messi's free kick into the area in the 86th minute and the loose ball came to substitute Henry to loop into goal from a volley for his 17th score of the season.

Barcelona opened at Mestalla Stadium through Messi with the winger dishing off to Andres Iniesta who drew goalkeeper Cesar Sanchez out to the left before feeding back to Messi to slot through a crowd for his 21st goal of the season in the 24th. (See video)

But Valencia looked ready to take three points off Barcelona following two quick goals to close the first half.

Victor Valdes let David Silva's corner slip through his hands for Hedwiges Maduro to tap into an empty goal in the 43rd before Pablo Hernandez received Juanma Mata's throughball in the second minute of first-half injury time to burst past two defenders and roll under the onrushing Valdes with his right foot.

Barcelona, which had a seven-game winning streak snapped, moved seven points clear of closest title challenger Real Madrid, but the two-time defending champion can trim that gap to four points with a victory at Sevilla on Sunday.

"We drew, which is better than losing at least," Henry said.
Barcelona leads with 82 points, Madrid has 75, Sevilla 57 and Valencia 56.

Earlier, Daniel Aranzubia saved a late penalty as Deportivo La Coruna drew 1-1 at Malaga in a match holding European qualifying implications.

The Deportivo goalkeeper dove to his right to tip Antonio "Apono" Galdeano's spot kick wide in the 88th minute as both teams stayed in the race to clinch a spot in next season's Europa League, the renamed UEFA Cup.

Malaga occupies the final European place with 51 points, while Deportivo has 50 and Atletico Madrid 49.

Also, Alvaro Negredo set up both of Almeria's goals in a 2-1 victory over last-placed Numancia.
Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola gave bench starts to Henry, Yaya Toure and Rafael Marquez with Tuesday's Champions League semifinal against Chelsea in mind.

Valencia did well to contain Barcelona's potent offense to the 15th when Messi sent Iniesta's pass over goal from close up. Valencia tested Valdes three minutes later with the Barcelona goalkeeper diving low to his left to stop David Villa's free kick.

Barcelona finally broke through thanks to some patient distribution between playmakers Messi and Iniesta inside the area that allowed Messi to net his 34th goal in all competitions.

Sanchez got his hands up to catch Messi's volley in the 27th and Eto'o sent a low shot just wide two minutes later as Barcelona controlled.

Valencia had two separate penalty appeals waved away in the 30th, but slowly began to chip away before taking the lead through Hernandez, who had been an important part of the club's five-game winning streak.

Guardiola sent Henry on in the 64th and two minutes later the France striker tested Sanchez with a rising shot from the top of the area.

Neither team let up as the play moved swiftly from end-to-end with Mata getting a chance from the right side and Henry seemingly involved in every Barcelona buildup until his equalizer.


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