Messi passes Pele's goals in 1 year as Barca wins
BARCELONA, Spain -- Lionel Messi surpassed Pele's milestone of goals in a calendar year, scoring for the 75th and 76th time in 2012 to lead Barcelona to a 4-2 victory at Mallorca in the Spanish league Sunday. Messi is within nine goals of Gerd Mueller's career record.
Xavi Hernandez unlocked Mallorca's defense with a free kick in the 28th minute before Messi struck in the 44th. Cristian Tello added a third goal a minute later at Iberostar stadium.
After Mallorca netted twice early in the second half to breathe life into the match, Messi stepped up to score again the 70th to ensure victory, helping Barcelona rebound from its loss at Celtic in the Champions League.
"Leo's records are spectacular," Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova said. "It's spectacular when you think that he scores so many goals. Some few players reach these numbers in seven or eight seasons, he does it in one. And most of his goals are great goals."
This is the latest scoring feat for the Argentine forward. He scored 73 goals in the 2011-12 season for Barcelona, breaking the European club record of 67 goals set by Mueller in 1972-73. He also set a Spanish league record of 50 goals last season and broke Cesar Rodriguez's 57-year milestone of 232 goals to become Barcelona's career scoring leader.
Barcelona's 10th win in 11 rounds extended its club-record start and opened a provisional 11-point gap over third-place Madrid, which beat Levante 2-0 on goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Alvaro Morata. Second-place Atletico Madrid is three points behind the leaders after easing past visiting Getafe 2-0.
Messi increased his league-leading tally to 15 goals. He has 20 in all competitions this season.
Pele scored 75 goals for Brazil and Santos in 1958. Mueller had 85 in 1972 for West Germany and Bayern Munich.
Elsewhere, Athletic Bilbao beat visiting Sevilla 2-0 for its first back-to-back wins of the season, while 10-man Valencia stayed winless away this season after drawing 1-1 at Valladolid.
LONDON -- John Terry's return from a racism ban ended prematurely Sunday when the Chelsea captain was carried off the field with a leg injury after scoring in a 1-1 draw with Liverpool in the Premier League.
The defender, who had missed the last four domestic matches for racially abusing an opponent, headed in his 50th Chelsea goal from Juan Mata's corner kick in the 20th minute. Fifteen minutes later, Terry fell awkwardly on his right knee after a collision with Liverpool striker Luis Suarez.
"He's in pain now. He'll go to hospital tomorrow for a scan," Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo said. "We hope it's not a serious injury, but we'll see."
Without Terry, Suarez was left unmarked in the penalty area to head in a tying goal in the 73rd minute.
The draw leaves Chelsea in third, three points behind leader Manchester United and a point behind champion Manchester City, which came from behind to beat Tottenham 2-1.
Kevin Nolan scored against former club Newcastle to give West Ham a 1-0 victory.
MILAN -- Lazio rallied past Roma 3-2 in a rain-drenched Serie A game in Rome in which both teams were reduced to 10 men.
Mauri made it 3-1 for Lazio before he was sent off. Substitute Miralem Pjanic pulled a goal back for Roma.
AC Milan missed a penalty kick in losing 3-1 against Fiorentina, and Napoli came from behind to beat Genoa 4-2.
BERLIN -- Hannover recovered from a 2-0 deficit by s coring four goals in 16 minutes to win 4-2 at Stuttgart in the Bundesliga. Borussia Moenchengladbach also came from behind to overcome nine-man Greuther Fuerth by the same score.
PARIS -- Paris Saint-Germain remained on top in the French league with a 1-1 draw at defending champion Montpellier after playing most of the match with 10 men following center half Mamadou Sakho's early dismissal.
Sakho was shown a straight red card in the ninth minute for yanking center forward Gaetan Charbonnier's shirt when he was clean through on goal. Despite the early setback, PSG scored in the 37th thanks to a brilliant chip from Brazilian left back Maxwell.
The draw made no difference to the top three places because Marseille drew 2-2 against Nice, twice throwing away the lead, and Lyon was also pegged back as it drew 1-1 at struggling Sochaux.
PSG and Marseille both have 23 points, but PSG has a better goal difference -- although Marseille has a game in hand -- and Lyon is one point behind them. Montpellier is 14th.
BRUSSELS -- American midfielder Sacha Kljestan scored Anderlecht's fourth goal in a 6-1 rout of Club Brugge.
The 54th-minute goal was his first in the league this season and second overall.
AMSTERDAM -- PSV Eindhoven came from a goal down to beat Heerenveen 5-1 and take the lead in the Dutch league from FC Twente in style.
PSV was given the chance to go to the top when Twente drew 0-0 at third-place Vitesse Arnhem.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press
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