Barcelona showed their ruthlessness in front of goal when they faced Deportivo Alaves in the La Liga on Saturday. The Blaugrana took some time to get going, but once they settled, there was no looking back.
Ronald Koeman’s side thumped their opponents 5-1 in one of their best displays of the season. Barcelona have managed some consistency since the turn of the year, but they’ve rarely won games in such a convincing manner in their current campaign.
Here, they were all over Alaves as braces from Lionel Messi and Trancao, as well as another from Junior Firpo, saw them run out as comfortable winners.
The Catalans still occupy third place in the La Liga, with Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid currently sitting above them. However, such performances could see them get back into the title race.
Messi leads Alaves rout
Lionel Messi was the star of the show against Alaves. The Argentinian has been in the news recently, with reports suggesting he could leave Barcelona for PSG or Manchester City in the summer.
Many have questioned whether Messi's head is at Barcelona and if he has been affected by all the talk surrounding his future. Once the game started, though, Messi gave an emphatic answer with his performance. He was involved in almost every attacking move that Barcelona orchestrated and deservedly ended the game with two goals and an assist to his name.
"Well, we know that Leo is a decisive player," Koeman said of Messi, as quoted by Goal. "He has been for many years. He's someone who gives a load of depth for the rest of the players."
"Messi has a great vision of play. Having Messi at his best is vital, but we also need everyone else at their best. That's very important," Koeman added.
The perfect rehearsal for PSG showdown
Barcelona started the week on a bad note after losing to Sevilla in the first leg of the semi-final in the Copa del Rey. However, they recovered in fine fashion by defeating Alaves. The win is vital because it serves as the perfect rehearsal for the Blaugrana’s crucial UEFA Champions League game against PSG on Tuesday.
Koeman’s side will be playing at home but PSG will start the game as slight favourites. Barcelona, however, can take confidence from the fact that they’ve been on an impressive run in 2021. The Catalans have lost just two games since the turn of the year.