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Messi passes Müller's mark, Falcao fires five

Lionel Messi set a new record of 86 goals in a calendar year as FC Barcelona prevailed 2-1 at Real Betis Balompié, while Falcao hit five as Club Atlético de Madrid posted a commanding win.

Messi passes Müller's mark, Falcao fires five
Messi passes Müller's mark, Falcao fires five ©Getty Images

Lionel Messi broke Gerd Müller's 40-year-old record for goals in a calendar year as FC Barcelona triumphed 2-1 at Real Betis Balompié.

The Blaugrana had failed to win in the green half of Seville in their last four visits but were sent on their way when Messi surged into the box and steered in a low effort. Having equalled Müller's benchmark of goals for club and country set in 1972, the Argentinian then broke it in style, cracking a shot inside the right post from Andrés Iniesta's backheel.

Rubén Castro halved the deficit before the break as Betis threatened to spoil the party, and the hosts came close to an equaliser on a number of occasions in a frantic second half, during which both sides struck the woodwork. Barça held firm, however, to record their 14th win of a still unbeaten Liga campaign.

Club Atlético de Madrid's own South American sensation, Falcao, scored five times in an emphatic 6-0 victory against RC Deportivo La Coruña. Diego Costa headed an opener before Falcao stole the show with a fine double – the second an exquisite 20-metre half-volley – to give the Rojiblancos an unassailable half-time lead. The insatiable Colombian hitman added three more in seven breathless second-half minutes to become the first player since Fernando Morientes to notch five goals in a Liga match.

Lastly, there were home wins elsewhere for Levante UD and Athletic Club, who beat RCD Mallorca 4-0 and RC Celta de Vigo 1-0 respectively.

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