Russia 2018 June 14 - July 15, 2018

World Cup

Messi misses 1 penalty, makes another in Barcelona win

(AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

By JOSEPH WILSON

Associated Press

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Lionel Messi had a penalty saved after scoring from the spot as Barcelona struggled to end a run of poor results before it turns to the Champions League knockout rounds.

Messi converted his first penalty opportunity that proved good enough to give Barcelona an uninspiring 1-0 victory over Valladolid at Camp Nou in the Spanish league on Saturday. But Barcelona's all-time scorer had a second spot kick stopped by goalie Jordi Masip.

Barcelona, which had drawn three games in a row across all competitions, visits Lyon on Tuesday in the opening leg of their round-of-16 tie.

Messi and his teammates missed chances to put the match away, and when they did arrive Masip was up to the challenge.

Messi beat Masip with a perfectly executed spot kick two minutes before halftime. But Masip, a former Barcelona goalkeeper, smothered his second strike that Messi sent to the same left side of the goalie.

Barcelona increased its league lead to seven points over Atletico, which moved past Real Madrid into second place with a 1-0 win at Rayo Vallecano before its crosstown rivals play on Sunday.

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Updated February 16, 2019

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