After a first half that no one will remember, Barcelona have taken the lead just 10 minutes into the second half of El Clasico. Luis Suarez is the man to break the scoreless deadlock after converting on a scintillating counter-attack.
In very untypical Barcelona fashion, they’ve played very conservatively today, only to spring on the break and take the lead out of nowhere. It was Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta doing the dirty work in the midfield to spring Ivan Rakitic on a 3-on-2 break.
After Rakitic slotted a great pass to Sergio Roberto on the right side, the right back played in Suarez for the simple finish and a great goal. What a fantastic team move to get this Clasico up and running.
Because of course it is…
Lionel Messi has notched his 100th career goal in a European competition with a fabulous free kick against Olympiacos in the Champions League. His textbook curling free kick was palmed into the roof of the net by the goalkeeper to make it 2-0 to Barcelona on the night. Lucas Digne has since added a third.
This is just another amazing milestone in the indescribable career of the greatest player who has ever lived. Messi continues to amaze in every competition he plays in, but there’s something a little more special when he does it in the Champions League.
His fourth of the day is a big one.
Lionel Messi went H.A.M. on Eibar today en route to a blowout 6-1 win. The Argentinian superstar scored four goals on the night, one of which set a little bit of personal history for Messi. It marks the 300th time in his career that he’s scored a goal at the historic Camp Nou.
His four goals on the day give him nine goals in just five league matches so far this season. The Pichichi looks well within reach this season.
It’s taken exactly 45 minutes, but Barcelona have finally broken through against Juventus in the opening Champions League match of the season for both sides. Who else but Lionel Messi to get the scoring start? In lovely fashion at that. Playing a quick one-two with Luis Suarez at the top of the 18-yard box, Messi received the ball back and struck a low shot that got past Gigi Buffon to open the scoring.
It’s the third straight match with a goal for Leo and his 6th in 2.5 games. He’s heating up…
It’s taken less than 30 minutes for Barcelona’s prized summer signing to make an impact. Ousmane Dembele is the second most expensive player in the world and he’s already paying back that high price tag. After subbing on after the hour-mark, he set up Luis Suarez with a very nice and selfless ball across the box for the the fifth goal of the day against Espanyol. He appears to be fitting in perfectly so far…
Messi doing Messi things.
Lionel Messi has picked up right where he left off before the international break by finding the next for the third time in the opening three matches of the La Liga season. He’s given Barcelona a lead 26 minutes in at home against Espanyol. He may have been offside, but he won’t care as he collected a Ivan Rakitic pass, made a defender go flying, and finished superbly into the top corner to give the Blaugrana the lead.
Update: Make it 4 in 3.
Update #2: ‘Tis a hat-trick…
Luck has been against him, but he’s finally broken through.
It seemed as if fate was working against a Lionel Messi goal to start this La Liga season. He hit the post three times in the season opener last weekend and was denied from the penalty spot by a nice save today. However, he’s finally gotten on the scoresheet in league play to give Barcelona a 1-0 lead over Alaves in the second half.
The goal came off a bit of a broken play as he collected the ball in the box with no real angle at goal. Despite that, he wound up and blasted a left-footed shot that the goalkeeper couldn’t keep out. It’s his 350th career goal in La Liga, extending his own record.
Without Luis Suarez available for selection and Ousmane Dembele yet to get settled in, the pressure is on Messi to come through with the goals. Today he’s delivered the goal and the lead. We’ll see if it holds…
Update: He’s got another.
That escalated quickly…
After 35 minutes of tame football, Barcelona have surged into a 2-0 lead against Real Betis to kick off the La Liga season. Gerard Deulofeu played a hand in both goals as his flank play and centering passes caused an own goal to make it 1-0 and set up Sergi Roberto to double the lead.
Betis’ Tosca was credited with the own goal on the first play, but there would be no doubt who would get credit for the second as Sergi Roberto wandered forward to slam in another great play by Deulofeu.
FC Barcelona are wearing special nameplates on their kits today in tribute to the victims of the tragedy that took place in their city earlier this week. Every player has replaced their own name with “Barcelona” on the back of their kit. A great gesture by the club.
Go on, Leo!
Barcelona have begun this glorified friendly/epic cash grab/El Clásico in style. After a first minute injury scare to Neymar, the Blaugrana shook that off to take an early lead in just the fourth minute through Lionel Messi.
It wasn’t the cleanest of goals as Messi’s finish took a massive deflection to take it past Keylor Navas for the opening goal. Barca won’t complain as it put them into control of the match.
Just two minutes later, they took advantage of that control by doubling their lead. Some nice passing around the box led to Luis Suarez setting up Ivan Rakitic for a great strike at the top of the box.
It’s a great start for Barcelona as the look to capture the International Champions Cup or whatever this weird preseason tournament is called.