La Liga 2017/18: FC Barcelona 5-0 Espanyol, 5 Talking Points
Goals: Lionel Messi 26', 35', 67'; Pique 87'; Suarez 90'
Ernesto Valverde's men thrashed their Catalan rivals, Espanyol 5-0 at the Camp Nou to make a statement in their bid to reclaim the La Liga crown. Espanyol were second best right from the beginning with Barcelona looking calm and assured while going forward.
Leo Messi scored his first close to the half hour mark, albeit it was an offside goal that the replays suggested. Nonetheless, it was a stunning finish. He made it two soon after some smart play from Jordi Alba enabled him to score from point blank range.
Messi then scored his third goal in the second half with a neat finish to put the game to bed. Gerrard Pique made it four and Luis Suarez put the cherry on the top by making it five in stoppage time.
Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid dropped crucial points last night which made Barcelona's victory even sweeter. On that note, let's take a look at the five talking points from a five-star performance from FC Barcelona:
#1 Lionel Messi - The Boss
"Why stress? We have Messi", read one banner at the Camp Nou. There would not be an apt description of the Argentine's importance on this club than that quoted line! The club suffering a dismal transfer window, the boardroom tussle escalating, a crucial player leaving made it look like the club was in crisis.
But as has been the case for the past decade, whenever the club has had problems one man has stepped up time and again to lift the club out of their misery and bring the glory days back.
Lionel Messi was at it yet again last night with Espanyol facing the wrath of the genius. Three smart finishes, three goals and three points has once again elevated the mood at the club. This was Messi's 42nd career hat-trick and the latest treble made it 18 goals against Espanyol; the top scorer in the history of this fixture. This performance also once again brought up the fact about Messi being the real boss at the club!