Barcelona won 1-0 at bottom side Huesca on Sunday as Lionel Messi became the first foreigner to make 500 appearances in Spain’s La Liga, while a late Luis Suarez goal secured leaders Atletico Madrid victory against Alaves.
Messi returned for Barca after missing the final game of 2020 with an ankle knock and swung in a cross for Frenkie de Jong to divert home for the only goal on 27 minutes.
Although Ronald Koeman’s side began a potentially season-defining run of four consecutive away matches with a comfortable win, they remain a distant 10 points behind Atletico in fifth having played a game more.
Barca dominated possession and created a number of chances but Huesca goalkeeper Alvaro Fernandez produced several fine saves to keep the hosts in touch.
After De Jong’s opener Messi was denied a second just before half-time when Fernandez superbly clawed away his free-kick heading towards the top corner.
The Argentine was again thwarted by the legs of Fernandez in the second half after…