Source: Agencies | 2013-3-11 | NEWSPAPER EDITION
LIONEL Messi extended his Spanish league record by scoring in 17 straight games to cap Barcelona's 2-0 win over last-place Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday.
Messi started on the Camp Nou bench with several other first-choice players, saved for the decisive Champions League last-16 match against AC Milan, but went on in the second half and scored two minutes from time with a delicate chip shot to double Barcelona's lead after Alexis Sanchez opened in the 38th.
It was the four-time world player of the year's league-leading 40th goal of the season and 51st overall.
Barcelona hosts Milan tomorrow, facing the challenge of overturning a 0-2 loss in their first meeting to keep alive its bid for a fourth European title in eight seasons.
"We played with a lot of intensity and had a lot of presence in their penalty area but they are two completely different competitions," Barcelona assistant coach Jordi Roura said.
"The players seem in good shape and we will do everything humanly possible to get past Milan," he added.
In Valladolid, defender Martin Demichelis scored for Malaga in the eighth, only for Manucho to split the points in the 41st. Malaga remained in fourth place.
Rayo Vallecano improved its chances of securing a lucrative place in Europe next season when goals from Alejandro Dominguez and captain Piti gave it a 2-0 win at home to Espanyol.
The victory lifted Rayo, which has 41 points from 27 matches, to eighth. Espanyol are 13th on 32 points, three behind 10th-placed Valladolid.
Sevilla lost 1-2 at Real Mallorca.