Football: Lionel Messi reaches 301 La Liga goals as Barca open big lead

Barcelona's Lionel Messi reacts duringt the match on Wednesday (Feb 17).
Barcelona's Lionel Messi reacts duringt the match on Wednesday (Feb 17).PHOTO: REUTERS

MADRID (REUTERS) - A double blast by Lionel Messi took his La Liga goals tally to 301 as he led Barcelona to a 3-1 win at Sporting Gijon that sent them six points clear at the top of the table on Wednesday.

Luis Suarez missed a second-half penalty but made amends soon after by scoring the third goal to take his tally in all competitions to 40 this season.

The match at El Molinon was originally due to be played in December but had to be switched because of Barca's involvement in the Club World Cup in Japan.

Barca now have 60 points from 24 matches, six more than second-placed Atletico Madrid and seven ahead of Real Madrid.