On Sunday afternoon, Barcelona welcomed 2nd place Atlético Madrid to the Camp Nou for a game which would decide whether or not "Hay Liga", as they say in Spain - roughly translated as "there is league/a title race".
"Our advantage is down to just five points after dropping two the other day, so now the points are worth even more and the prize is a juicy one".
The only blot on a dominant Barcelona performance was an injury to Andres Iniesta, who had to be substituted after 34 minutes with what the club confirmed was a strain in the back of his thigh.
It was also a first defeat for Atletico boss Diego Simeone in 13 encounters with Valverde.
It was the third successive league game in which Messi has netted a direct free-kick - the first time he has achieved that feat - and Barca could have had more at the end of a first half in which Atletico failed to muster a shot on target.
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So she (Wie) dropped the bomb on the last. "The nerves that I got on 18, I think any human being would experience it", she said. Wie's approach shot on 18 came up a little short, leaving her with a 35-foot putt from the fringe for birdie.
Thomas Partey fouled Messi 25 yards out with 25 minutes on the clock.
The position of the free kick was ideal for Messi, and he wrapped his left foot around the ball, curling it away from the diving Oblak and into the top corner.
The goal took his tally for the season to 32 as Barcelona got off to the ideal start in their bid to extend their lead at the top of La Liga to eight points.
But while Messi was enjoying himself, Iniesta had been limping through much of the first half following a collision with Saul Niguez and eventually had to be replaced by Andre Gomes after 35 minutes.
Barca continued to turn the screw, Luis Suarez seeing an effort blocked by Jose Gimenez and the Uruguay forward was involved again soon afterwards, combining brilliantly with Philippe Coutinho only for the latter to fire straight at Oblak.