Soccer

Messi scores twice as Barcelona rallies, Puyol hurt again

Lionel Messi scored a pair of late goals Sunday as Barcelona came from behind to win 2-1 at Osasuna in the Spanish league.

Madrid stumbles out of the gate

Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring against Osasuna on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

Lionel Messi scored a pair of late goals Sunday as Barcelona came from behind to win 2-1 at Osasuna in the Spanish league.

Barcelona's loss at Osasuna's Reyno de Navarra Stadium last season played a part in the Catalan club losing the title to Real Madrid, and the hosts looked destined for another win after Joseba Llorente's acrobatic 17th-minute goal.

But even after Osasuna striker Juan Francisco Martinez hit the post and Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova was sent off, Barcelona rallied as Messi guided Alexis Sanchez's short pass beyond goalkeeper Andres Fernandez to equalize in the 76th minute.

Barcelona said captain Carles Puyol fractured his right cheekbone in the victory at Osasuna.

Barcelona says further medical scans will be performed Monday to determine the extent of the injury and how long it will sideline the 34-year-old defender. Barcelona's next game is Thursday at Real Madrid for the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup, which the Catalans leads 3-2.

The injury happened in the closing moments at the Reyno de Navarra Stadium after a brush with Osasuna's Roland Lamah.

Puyol has endured a number of injuries in the last few seasons, including surgery to his right knee that kept him from helping Spain win the European Championship this summer.

Osasuna went down to 10 men when Francisco Punal was red carded for arguing the goal was offside.

Messi then latched on to Jordi Alba's cross in the 80th for the winner and his league-leading fourth goal, giving Barcelona its first come-from-behind victory from a halftime deficit in Pamplona since 1960.

Barcelona joined Rayo Vallecano with six points. Madrid can trim the gap to two points with a victory at crosstown rival Getafe in its second-round match later Sunday.

Osasuna looked on course for another victory over the Catalans after a confident start, resulting in Llorente getting his right foot at chest level to tap Roland Lamah's cross past goalkeeper Victor Valdes at the near post.

Valdes had come under fire following a poor performance in a 3-2 Spanish Super Cup win over Madrid last week, but was steady throughout Sunday. He made saves to deny Alvaro Cejudo in the opening moments and against to block from Martinez, who also hit the post with only the 'keeper to beat after dispossessing Sergio Busquets.

That play elicited a reaction from Vilanova, who was sent off in his third official game in charge, and from the visitors.

Fernandez saved from Barcelona pair Andres Iniesta and Messi, with Barcelona's attack only awakening after the introduction of Xavi Hernandez off the bench for Iniesta in the 70th. Cesc Fabregas has started in place of the midfield maestro but failed to guide the team with any distinction.

Fernandez watched in exasperation as Messi's redirected shot crossed the goal line to undo the hosts' momentum.

Barcelona immediately took advantage of the extra space with the man advantage, Alba guiding in a long cross from the left straight for Messi to curl home the winner.

Defending champion Real Madrid has made its worst start to the Spanish league in 39 years after losing 2-1 at Getafe to stay winless after the opening two rounds and sit five points adrift of Barcelona.

Madrid led after 27 minutes through Gonzalo Higuain, before Juan Valera equalized for Getafe in the 55th. Another defensive lapse led to Abdelaziz Barrada scoring the winner from a breakaway in the 75th.

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