Lionel Messi was at his magical best against Eibar as Barcelona thrashed the visitors by 6-1 to maintain their 100 percent winning rate since the start of 2017 La Liga campaign. The Catalans made it five wins from five matches thanks to another Lionel Messi masterclass which took his tally to 11, while Denis Suarez, as well as summer signing Paulinho, found the net for the second time in succession.
Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde entered without the injured Ousmane Dembele, after he was ruled out for four months due to a torn hamstring injury, and he also opted to rest several regulars like Luis Suarez and Ivan Rakitic, however, that mattered little as Lionel Messi stepped up and composed an irresistible musical on the ground.
For the first half, the hosts were in complete control of possession of the ball and had marked their territory, but they weren’t ruthless enough in creating chances, although Gerard Deulofeu, as well as Nélson Semedo, were tormenting Eibar from the right side while giving Lionel Messi a couple of chances to test the Eibar goalkeeper.
Soon enough, in the 20th minute, Deulofeu and Semedo’s attack bore fruit and the Catalan giants got their first two goals on that side of the pitch. First, it was Semedo who won a penalty inside the box and Lionel Messi calmly scored the spot kick and just a few minutes later (38’), another great combination between Semedo, Deulofeu and Lionel Messi won Barca a corner, and Paulinho scored his second in two appearances with a bullet header.
Barça came out in the second half with all the intent of attacking the visitors and they got a third when a dummy from Paulinho set Lionel Messi free on the counter, and after the Argentine’s shot was saved by Dmitrovic, the ball fell to Denis Suarez and he calmly finished past the goalie to make it 3-0.
With the victory wrapped up and 35 minutes of the game still left to play Barcelona did a mistake by dropping their guard and Eibar took advantage as Sergi Enrich left M. Ter Stegen gawking with his strike.
However, It didn’t take long for Ernesto Valverde’s men to make sure the game would not take an interesting turn with Lionel Messi scoring his second just two minutes after Enrich’s goal. The Barcelona superstar still was hungry for goals as completed his hat-trick after an assist from Paulinho followed by a fourth on an assist from substitute Aleix Vidal to end the game with complete dominance.
Watch Lionel Messi Sticking Four Times Against Eibar Here.
Key stats from the Barcelona vs Eibar game:
- Lionel Messi now has 28 hat-tricks in his La Liga career. Only Cristiano Ronaldo, with 32, has more hat-tricks than him.
- Messi has scored nine goals in his first five games this La Liga season, which is his best start in terms of goals in group stages.
- The Argentine has now scored 300 times for Barcelona at the Camp Nou in all competitions.
Barcelona is still leading the La Liga tally with a 100 percent record and it looks like they are in no mood of repeat their last year’s failures.