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Messi keeps Barca 11 points clear at halfway stage

Published on Jan 14, 2013 6:31 AM

MADRID (AFP) - Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi scored in a ninth successive La Liga game as Barcelona won 3-1 at Malaga on Sunday to remain 11 points clear of Atletico Madrid and 18 in front of champions Real Madrid.

Messi got the opener before supplying Cesc Fabregas and Thiago Alcantara for the second and third goals.

Messi's Argentine compatriot Diego Buonanotte scored from a free-kick in the final minutes for Malaga.

The goal was Messi's 28th in the league this season from just 19 games and at the halfway stage Barcelona have only dropped two points - in a draw against Real.

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