Last night saw the first Catalan derby of the season and the bragging rights will go to Barcelona as they ran out emphatic 5-0 winners over Espanyol. Not only have they claimed regional supremacy but they also have built a four point gap over arch rivals Real Madrid.
It would be Lionel Messi who would grab all the headlines as his hat-trick all but confirmed victory as the diminutive Argentine scored the first three goals of the game. The first on 26 minutes came from a curled effort after receiving a pass from Croatian international Ivan Rakitic.
The second came nine minutes later when Messi scored from close range when connecting with a Jordi Alba cross and the two would be on hand again to combine and make it three on 67 minutes. It was a long night for Espanyol and that was only going to get longer.
That is because there was still plenty of time to Barcelona to add more goals to their tally and that is exactly what they did, Gerard Pique got in on the act on 87 minutes with a header and Luis Suarez would add the icing on the cake in stoppage time.
Suarez goal was laid on by Barcelona’s record signing Ousmane Dembele who came off the bench for Gerard Deloufeu on 68 minutes, this was just a brief glimpse of what the former Borussia Dortmund forward can do but expect his input to increase over the next few weeks.
Barcelona are the only team with a one hundred percent record in La Liga and not only that they are yet to concede a goal in their first three matches. Quite an ominous sight at present as new boss Ernesto Valverde gets his Nou Camp stint off to the best possible start.
Barcelona’s next fixture is against Juventus in the Champions League in what will be a repeat of last season’s Quarter Final clash. The Blaugrana will undoubtedly be looking to exact revenge after being on the losing end of a 3-0 aggregate scoreline.
Here are the highlights