Publicado: Sol, Diciembre 09, 2018
Deportes | Por Godofredo Marrero

Lionel Messi stars as Barcelona down Espanyol

Lionel Messi stars as Barcelona down Espanyol

Puyol has taken to Twitter after Barça's 4-0 thrashing of Espanyol to tweet about the Ballon d'Or, which Messi finished in fifth place for in this year's award.

Messi opened the scoring with a fine free-kick before Ousmane Dembele doubled the lead on 26 minutes and Luis Suarez scored from the tightest of angles just before half-time. A goal in each half with an assist in between saw the 5th best player in the world, according to France Football, break another La Liga record.

Sevilla had missed the chance to leapfrog Ernesto Valverde's side earlier on Saturday as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Valencia.

Lopez did well to deny Messi with his legs after a rapid counter, but there was nothing the stopper could do with 65 minutes gone as the diminutive genius curled him his second sumptuous free-kick of the night, this time finding the opposite corner with a set-piece that appeared to favour a right-footer.

Espanyol defender Oscar Duarte fouled the Barcelona playmaker 25 yards out in a central position.

Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates scoring their first goal with team mates. Albert Gea Reuters
Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates scoring their first goal with team mates. Albert Gea Reuters

Less than one minute later, Barcelona hit the post again, with Messi heading against the woodwork after Espanyol stopper Diego Lopez had excellently denied Ivan Rakitic from close range.

Luis Suarez - back in the team following a knee problem - had the opportunity to send Barcelona two goals ahead four minutes later when he met a clever pass from Messi, but Diego Lopez was on hand to make the save.

Leo Baptistao was introduced in the 60th minute as Espanyol looked for a route back into the match, but Barcelona continued to resist the pressure, with Ter Stegen not having too much to do.

In a rare moment of action in the Barcelona penalty area, Victor Sanchez's header dropped wide of the far post.

Barca's front three were all in fine form but Messi was the conductor at the heart of all their play.

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