Barcelona washed their hands in the fight for the top of La Liga once again on this Tuesday. Playing at the Camp Nou, Barcelona hosted Valladolid, and led by an inspired Lionel Messi, the Catalans won 5-1. Messi scored two, and also assisted twice. Clement Lenglet and Luis Suarez scored the others for the hosts. Oliva scored the consolation for Valladolid.
Barca did not play on the last weekend as the derby against Real Madrid had been postponed. With Tuesday’s triumph, the Catalans reached 22 points in 10 games, and have two more than the surprise of the competition, Granada. Defeated side Valladolid has 14 points, in ninth position.
Barcelona began to define their victory after two minutes. After the defense’s attempt to clear Messi’s cross, the ball went to Lenglet, who fired from close-range to break the deadlock. 1-0 Barcelona.
Valladolid did not seem to feel the early blow, as they went on to level the match. On 15 minutes, a Ter Stegen partially cleared Michel’s cross from a set-piece, as the ball rebounded off to Oliva, who used his knee to equalize the match. 1-1.
After the goal, the visitors not only leveled the match in terms of numbers but also had more dangerous moments upfront than Barcelona. However, Barcelona still has Messi. And Messi is Messi, right?
In the 29th minute, the Argentine pulled off a beautiful pass over the Valladolid defense, and picked Arturo Vidal out, as the Chilean finished home to make it two. Five minutes later, the Argentine also grabbed his goal curling home a free-kick. It was his 50th free-kick goal in his career.
Messi appeared once again in the second half, as he got into the box, controlled a Rakitic pass and fired home from close-range, with 75 on the clock. Two mins later, the Argentine was the architect one more time, as he assisted Suarez, who gave no chances for goalkeeper Matip in a powerful finish. 5-1 Barcelona.
The Argentine also had a chance to complete his hat trick by the end of the game. He was a little bit selfish though, as he could have passed it to Antoine Griezmann, but went for the finish instead. However, no major problems with that, as the Catalans won anyway.
The Catalan team will return to play in La Liga on Saturday when they will visit Levante. The next day Valladolid will take on Mallorca at home.