Barcelona made yet another title statement at the Camp Nou earlier today with an emphatic 4-1 victory against relegation-threatened SD Huesca in what was a vintage performance. The result sees the Catalan giants move to within four points of league-leaders Atletico Madrid at the top of the La Liga standings.
Lionel Messi was the star of the show yet again for Barcelona and bagged two goals and one assist in what was a landmark appearance for the hosts. Oscar Mingueza and Antoine Griezmann also found the back of the net and breathed life into Barcelona's bid for the La Liga crown.
Barcelona dominated the ball in the opening stages and completed over 200 passes in the first 20 minutes of the game. The Catalan giants pinned Huesca back in their own half and found their reward after a piece of magic from the talismanic Lionel Messi gave the hosts the lead.
SD Huesca improved towards the half-hour mark and threatened Barcelona on the counter as Pablo Maffeo forced a save from Ter Stegen. Barcelona were in no mood to sit back and maintain a one-goal lead, however, and Antoine Griezmann doubled the Catalans' lead ten minutes before half-time with an exceptional strike.
The away side had a slice of fortune go its way at the stroke of half-time as Rafa Mir made the most of a dubious penalty decision and pulled a goal back for SD Huesca. Barcelona struck the woodwork on a couple of occasions in the first half and threatened Huesca's goal on a consistent basis.
Barcelona took an aggressive approach to the second half and were intent on adding to their lead against Huesca. Oscar Mingueza stepped up for the home side and latched on to Lionel Messi's pinpoint cross to score his first goal for Barcelona.
Huesca had their fair share of chances in the second half as Rafa Mir wasted a couple of opportunities to bring his side back into the game. Lionel Messi was at his irrepressible best throughout a match and doubled his goal tally late in the game to put the result to bed.
Barcelona Player Ratings
Marc-Andre ter Stegen - 6.5/10
Marc-Andre ter Stegen was unfortunate to concede the first-half penalty and cannot be blamed for Rafa Mir's powerful finish. The Barcelona goalkeeper did not have much to do for most of the game and did well to complete a couple of regulation saves.
Clement Lenglet - 6.5/10
Clement Lenglet has not enjoyed a particularly good season so far for Barcelona but was reliable against Huesca. The Frenchman seems to be more relaxed in a three-man defence and pushed into Huesca's half on a few occasions.
Oscar Mingueza - 7/10
Oscar Mingueza's rise has been one of the stories of the season at Barcelona and the La Masia graduate marked an impressive individual performance with his first-ever goal for the Blaugrana.
Frenkie de Jong - 7/10
Frenkie de Jong played as Barcelona's third centre-back on the night and was flawless with his ball distribution. The Dutch star also troubled Huesca with his late runs and was replaced by Ronald Araujo in the second half.
Jordi Alba - 7/10
Jordi Alba is enjoying life in Barcelona's new formation and was a potent threat for his team in the first half. The Catalan full-back struck the post from a tight angle before half-time and was at his dangerous best.
Sergino Dest - 6.5/10
Sergino Dest is improving with every passing game for Barcelona and had a good outing on the right flank against Huesca. The American teenager was replaced by Ilaix Moriba in the second half.
Sergio Busquets - 7/10
With Frenkie de Jong serving as the ideal foil, Sergio Busquets played in a more advanced role against Huesca and the decision yielded positive results. The Barcelona veteran won possession high up the pitch on the night and had a good game.
Pedri - 7/10
Pedri continues to grow as a midfielder for Barcelona and created the space for Antoine Griezmann for the Catalans' second ball. The teenage prodigy won the ball for his side on a number of occasions and had an excellent game.
Antoine Griezmann - 8/10
Antoine Griezmann has been heavily criticised for his lack of final product in recent weeks but silenced his critics with a brilliant left-footed finish. The Barcelona forward put in a good shift in the final third and had a positive outing.
Ousmane Dembele - 6.5/10
Ousmane Dembele troubled Huesca's defensive lines with his pacy runs and created a number of openings for Barcelona. The French winger was unable to find the back of the net, however, and was given a well-deserved rest in the second half.
Lionel Messi - 9/10
In his landmark 767th appearance for Barcelona, Lionel Messi scored one of the goals of the season to give the Catalans the lead. The Argentine genius stunned Huesca with his touch and turn and fired an unstoppable strike into the top corner to break the deadlock.
Lionel Messi is also making a habit of assisting La Masia graduates' first goals for the club and put the ball on a plate for Oscar Mingueza at the start of the second half. The Barcelona captain capped his performance with another goal towards the end of the game and seems to be back to his sensational best.
Ronald Araujo - 6.5/10
Ronald Araujo made his comeback against Huesca and replaced Frenkie de Jong at the heart of Barcelona's defence. The Uruguayan youngster was composed on the ball and had a good game.
Ilaix Moriba - 6/10
Ilaix Moriba pulled off yet another impressive cameo appearance for Barcelona and troubled Huesca's midfield with his tenacity and drive.
Francisco Trincao - 6.5/10
With Huesca looking to pull a goal back, Francisco Trincao spearheaded many of Barcelona's counter-attacks and picked up an assist for the Blaugrana's fourth goal.
Riqui Puig - 6.5/10
Riqui Puig made the most of his few minutes on the pitch and exerted plenty of creative influence on the game. The Barcelona youngster created chances for his teammates and was a livewire in the midfield.
Martin Braithwaite - 6/10
Martin Braithwaite was a late substitute against SD Huesca and was unable to make much of an impact on the match.