Japan J2-League

Messi scores Barcelona's 6,000th league goal

MADRID (AP) Barcelona scored its 6,000th goal in the Spanish league after another ingenious strike by Lionel Messi got its title defense off to a winning start.

Messi cleverly sent his free kick underneath Alaves' wall to open the scoring in the 64th minute of Barcelona's 3-0 win at Camp Nou Stadium on Saturday. He also closed the scoring in injury time after substitute Philippe Coutinho had added to the lead in the 83rd.

Messi's low free kick fooled Alaves' players, who jumped to intercept an expected high shot. Goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco couldn't get to the ball in time after it suddenly appeared underneath the barrier.

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