European round-up: Messi's marvellous year... two goals in Barça win breaks Müller record

Argentine magician strikes twice to reach total of 86 for 2012 and smash 40-year-old mark while Falcao hits five in La Liga for first time in 10 years

Lionel Messi set a record for goals scored in a calendar year of 86 when he netted his second in Barcelona's 2-1 win at Real Betis in La Liga tonight, beating Gerd Müller's 40-year-old record of 85.

The 25-year-old World Player of the Year earlier equalled Müller's mark when he picked up the ball in a central position in the 16th minute and left the Betis defence standing before sending an angled shot across goal into the bottom right corner.

Andres Iniesta's clever back heel set the Argentine up to score again nine minutes later with a sweeping shot that flew into the same corner of the goal.

Favourite to secure a fourth successive World Player award when the winner is announced next month, Messi has netted 74 times for Barça and 12 for Argentina in 2012, beating Müller's total for Bayern Munich and Germany in 1972. He has scored 56 in La Liga, 13 in the Champions League, three in the King's Cup and two in the Spanish Super Cup.

Messi's double took his tally in 15 La Liga outings this season to 23 and he also became Barça's all-time top league scorer on 191 goals, one more than Cesar Rodriguez.

Another goalscoring feat in Spain last night saw Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao put bottom-of-the-table Deportivo la Coruna to the sword with an incredible five-goal haul in a crushing 6-0 home win.

The prolific Colombian, linked with a big-money move to Chelsea, took his tally for the season to 16 in 15 matches as Atletico restored their five-point lead over chasing city rivals Real Madrid.

Jose Mourinho's Real side twice had to come from behind to scrape a 3-2 win at Real Valladolid on Saturday which closed the gap to Atletico, whom they beat 2-0 at the Bernabeu last week, to two points overnight. However, Atletico responded by romping to a 12th win in 15 outings this term against a Depor side in danger of dropping straight back down to the second division after winning promotion at the end of last season.

Diego Costa opened the scoring with a header from Koke's corner in the 23rd minute. Depor midfielder Juan Valeron headed against a post four minutes later but Atletico doubled their lead on their next foray forward when Falcao sped on to Koke's pass and fired a fizzing low drive into the corner of the net.

A quick throw on the left three minutes before the break set up the 26-year-old for his second and he crashed a dipping shot past Daniel Aranzubia from the corner of the penalty area. Falcao then won and converted a penalty in the 64th minute to complete his hat-trick, flung himself to head Arda Turan's deflected shot over the line and netted a clinical fifth in the 71st minute.

He is the first player to score five goals in a La Liga match since Fernando Morientes for Real Madrid against Las Palmas in 2002.

In Italy, the Juventus coach Antonio Conte enjoyed a winning return to the touchline as the Serie A leaders celebrated the end of his four-month ban with a 1-0 victory at Palermo.

Stephan Lichtsteiner scored early in the second half of a game in which both teams struggled on a difficult pitch that cut up badly following a hailstorm at half-time.

Napoli, who started the day in second place, lost 2-1 at Internazionale, the home side moving above them. Milan continued their revival with a third league victory in a row, coming from behind to win 4-2 at Torino.

In the Netherlands, PSV Eindhoven brushed aside visiting leaders Twente Enschede 3-0 to move back to the top of the table in place of Steve McClaren's team.

In France, Joey Barton's Marseilles had Charles Kaboré sent off in the first half as they slumped to a 3-0 home defeat to Lorient. Leaders Lyons won 1-0 in the derby with Saint-Etienne despite being reduced to 10 men.

News
people
Sport
FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Sport
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
athletics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
music
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
New Articles
i100... she's just started school
News
news
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
New Articles
i100... despite rising prices
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
voices
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam