News Worms
News Worms

Messi hat-trick sinks Espanyol, opens up four-point lead over Madrid

Messi hat-trick sinks Espanyol, opens up four-point lead over Madrid

Suarez was back in the Barcelona line-up after an injury scare while on global duty with Uruguay, but was not enjoying himself in front of goal as much as Messi, fluffing shot from a Gerard Deulofeu's cross before being denied by Pau early in the second period.

TALKING POINT - Were we too quick to write off Barcelona?

Despite a hard summer that saw Neymar leave and Philippe Coutinho fail to arrive, Barcelona have made a strong start to the Liga season with two wins and two clean sheets.

FW Gerard Deulofeu, 7 - Having started the season well, Valverde stuck with Deulofeu despite the arrival of Dembele. Further forward, Leo Baptistao was joined by Gerard Moreno and Pablo Piatti in a 4-3-3 formation, while summer signing from Real Madrid Mario Hermoso made his debut at centre-back. Subs - Didac 5, Navarro 5, Garcia 5.

At the Nou Camp Messi put Barca on their way to a routine victory over their struggling neighbours in the 26th minute with a trademark piece of close control in the area and bullet finish into the top corner, although he had received the ball in an offside position.

Valverde had a two-year spell as an Espanyol player between 1986 and 1988, reaching the 1988 UEFA Cup final, and later guided Barcelona's city rivals to the 2007 UEFA Cup final, where they also lost on penalties, during a two-year tenure as coach.

35' GOAL! Barcelona 2-0 Espanyol: There was a lot of luck in this one, but Barcelona and Messi have their second of the night! That could have been a lifeline for Espanyol.

The Argentine wizard scored his second nine minutes later as he slid in Jordi Alba's low centre. Piatti pounces on to a loose ball inside the box, striking on the half volley, but his effort comes back off the post.

Pele thinks the move will help the player grow, insisting that he can match the stardom he has achieved in the Brazilian national side, away from the looming spectre of Lionel Messi.

Dembele then announced his arrival with a low cross to tee up Suarez for Barca's fifth to round off a flawless night for Barca fans. He played the pass right into the path of Suarez. Lionel Messi was the difference in Barcelona's last La Liga game, netting a brace against Deportivo Alaves.

Barcelona won 34 of the last 36 possible points against Espanyol in La Liga.


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