Messi nets brace against Espanyol as Barcelona go 10 points clear

Lionel Messi scored twice in the second half as Barcelona continued their march towards the La Liga title, with a 2-0 victory over Espanyol on Saturday.

The visitors gave their city rivals a tough game at the Camp Nou as there were no goals in the opening 45 minutes.

Messi opened scoring with a chipped free-kick with 19 minutes to play.

The Argentine superstar added a second late goal in the game to send the Spanish champions 13 points clear at the top, before Atletico Madrid cut it by three, following their 4-0 demolition of Alaves later in the day.

Messi has now netted eight times in his last four games for Barca and leads the way in the La Liga scoring charts with 31 goals, 13 ahead of teammate, Luis Suarez.