Messi hat-trick helps see off Man City

October 20, 2016

Wednesday night saw the return of Pep Guardiola to Camp Nou, the first time since moving to Manchester City. But any hope that he would teach the Catalans a thing or two about football came to nothing as the English club were soundly beaten. Although it wasn’t Barcelona at their best, Leo Messi was on fire. Having just recovered from injury he scored three of Barça’s four goals.

Really the result was rather deceptive, with Barça lacking the domination you often see and the visitors creating chances of their own. However Barcelona pressurised City into making errors and when they happened the Catalans were ruthless. Seventeen minutes into the match Fernandinho slipped inside his own box. Messi got to the ball with just ex-Barcelona keeper Claudio Bravo between himself and the goal. He finished the move to put Barcelona ahead.

The turning point of the match though was a few minutes into the secpond half. Bravo was well forward of the box as he tried to clear the ball to a defender. But Suarez got to the ball first and tried to score. Bravo jumped up to stop it going in but was well outside the area and was immediately shown the red card. Probably he couldn’t help himself, as a goalie it’s in his DNA to stop the ball, and it was clearly going to go in.

Despite playing with ten men, it wasn’t until just after the hour that Iniesta set up Messi to score again. Eight minutes later Messi made it a hat-trick off Suarez. Barcelona too were soon down to ten men after Mathieu picked up a second yellow for an unnecessary foul but by then Manchester City’s fate had been sealed. And after Messi was fouled in the area Neymar missed the chance to add his name to the scoreboard from the penalty spot. Miinsutes later he made up for that when Messi fed him the ball and he made it 4-0 shortly before the final whistle.

FC Barcelona top Group C on 9 points, with Man City second on 4. Borussia Mönchengladbach trail them by a point, while Celtic have earned just a single point so far.

1-0 Messi (min 17)
2-0 Messi (min 61)
3-0 Messi (min 69)
4-0 Neymar (min 89)

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