19th September, 2018.
It was surely another day of glory for new Barca captain, Lionel Messi as he shone like a million stars in the 4-0 demolition of PSV Eindhoven when they played their first match of Group B of this season’s European Champions League played at the Camp Nou.
Merciless Messi (sorry, that has now been changed to “Marvelous” Messi) with immediate effect from the end of yesterday’s game. So, here we go.
Marvelous Messi scored a fantastic hat-trick yesterday as Barcelona took no chances in their Champions League opening game against PSV Eindhoven by demolishing the visiting team 4-0 at the Camp Nou.
Barcelona somehow started the game in an uncharacteristically sluggish manner but then they had “captain fantastic” in the team.
Lionel Messi was not about to take chances as he quickly found a way to swing the game in favour of Barca through one of his trade mark free-kicks to break the deadlock.
Before then, the hosts had struggled to find their rhythm even though Luis Suarez fired into the side net at a stage. However, it was a surging run forward from Dembele that led to the free-kick from which Messi sparked life into his team.
Dembele got fouled in the process of that run by Nick Viergever and Messi nonchalantly curled the ball into the top-right corner beyond a helpless Jeroen Zoet.
The second half saw an improvement in Barca’s play even though PSV Eindhoven showed clearly that they were not in Spain to sell doughnuts.
Their defence was a dogged one especially with their goalkeeper who denied Coutinho with a flying save as he tipped over a curling effort from the Barca midfielder early in the second half.
The goalkeeper got beaten thereafter as Suarez dug out a marvelous lob from the edge of the area, only for him to be cruelly denied by the bar.
With Barcelona stepping up the gears, there was nothing the PSV defence could do to stop the goals coming eventually.
Dembele who had been a thorn in their flesh all evening,eventually found a way through as he wonderfully turned two PSV players before running into space and unleashing a right-footed effort that beat the outstretched arm of Zoet.
It got worse for the visitors only two minutes later as Ivan Rakitic lifted a delicate ball over the PSV backline which Captain Marvelous Messi dispatched with a fine first-time finish on the run for Barca’s third goal of the game.
Thereafter came a little dark spot for the home team as Samuel Umtiti received a second yellow for impeding Hirving Lozano thereby reducing the home team to ten men.
That “little distraction” was not going to stop Barcelona though as they went on with their fantastic display of attacking football.
The “demolition squad” finished the game in style when Luis Suarez provided Messi with a clever flick that the captain made good use of as he completed his hat-trick of the match.
All in all, this was a beautiful display of good football from both teams even if at the end, the visitors’resilience finally broke down.
Of note for Messi personally is the fact that his hat-trick in this game was the 48th of his career and his eighth in the Champions League, more than any other player in the competition’s history.
He has also now scored more Champions League goals than PSV as a club, scoring 103 to their 102.