Barcelona's Top 3 players in the win over Alavés
Barcelona's debut in the 2018/19 Spanish League had little work to do in the start of the match, but a fantastic second-half free-kick by Lionel Messi opened the door for Ernesto Valverde's squad to close out the game with a 3-0 victory over Deportivo Alavés.
Messi added another goal to seal the deal, while Philippe Coutinho scored another goal to his LaLiga tally (nine goals in 19 matches for Barcelona in the Spanish tournament). Luis Suárez assisted Messi for his second goal of the night, but the Uruguayan did not enjoy a particularly good match in front of goal.
A solid defensive effort by Alavés was good for 63 minutes until Messi had a free-kick in front of Alavés' goal and produced a tricky shot which left Fernando Pacheco helpless.
The Spanish League got underway, and the reigning champions maintained its power at home, where its last defeat was against Alavés in 2016.
Let's rank the top three performers for Barcelona in its second official match of the season, the first at home.
#1 Lionel Messi
Messi opened a new LaLiga season with a strong performance, as usual. The Argentine magician scored a brilliant free-kick under the jumping-wall of Alavés players. The Barcelona number 10 was the leading goalscorer in the Spanish League the last two seasons and started another campaign demonstrating his fantastic goalscoring ability.
The Argentine virtuoso was the man who scored Barcelona's 5000th goal in LaLiga in February 2009, more than nine years later, the magical number 10 scored Barcelona's 6000th goal in its fabulous history in the Spanish League.
Messi scored his 554th goal for Barcelona (in 639 matches), and added to his historic tally of 385 goals in the Spanish League in 419 matches. The Argentinian returned to goalscoring in the first LaLiga match for Barcelona since his brace in the opener of the 2016/17 Spanish League season in a 6-2 victory over Real Betis.