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Messi puts us where we are right now - Alcacer hails Barcelona superstar

Messi puts us where we are right now - Alcacer hails Barcelona superstar

Because when the Argentinean ace found the net with the second goal in the Catalans' routine 2-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao at the Nou Camp, he produced a funny little dance to celebrate the feat.

Atletico took the lead thanks to a penalty that was converted by Antoine Griezmann in the 20th minute, but two goals in the final nine minutes from substitute Enes Unal secured the victory for Villarreal and left Atletico 11 points adrift of Barca.

Barca were happy to sit back slightly after half-time and invite Athletic to break them down, something Jose Angel Ziganda's side resoundingly failed to do.

However, they were rampant in the first half and could have taken a heavier lead into the break as Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho hit the woodwork twice and his compatriot Paulinho struck a post. The Argentine now plays in a more deeper position, often dropping into his own half to get on the ball in central positions and dictate play.

Ten minutes later, Aritz Aduriz met a decent cross into the box, but the Bilbao man saw his header cleared off the goalline by a Barcelona defender.

The away side again almost went close in the 68th minute, but Inaki Williams was denied by a brilliant tackle from Alba when it looked as though the winger was through on goal.

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Nevertheless, Ernesto Valverde's side held on for a comfortable win and put all the pressure on their closest rivals, Atletico Madrid, ahead of their clash with Villarreal.

Earlier, Sevilla crashed to a 2-1 league defeat to Leganes just days after pulling off the surprise elimination of Manchester United in the Champions League. He then laid on a pass for Lucas Vazquez to score Real's third.

Barca extended their unbeaten La Liga run to 36 matches dating back to last season, drawing to within two games of the record set Real Sociedad between 1979 and 1980. Atletico are second with 64, while Real are third on 60.

But his side ended up losing the game due to slack defending. I'm a team player, I work for them and if I add a goal then great.

The second half got off to a slow start, with Barca taking their foot off the pedal.

Ziganda told the club's official website: "We have to make a defensively perfect match against probably the best team in Europe and the world".