A Lionel Messi hat-trick and a late Sergio Busquets goal gave Barcelona a brilliantly 4-1 victory at home against Celta Vigo Saturday night as the Catalans climbed to the top of La Liga table after a not-good looking week.
Barca lost 3-1 away to Levante last Saturday and were glued to a disappointing draw at home to Slavia Prague in the Champions League Tuesday night.
Both unlike Barca’s results had increased pressure on coach Ernesto Valverde ahead of the Barcelona, Celta Vigo match, considering that the Messi side started the match poorly against a Celta Vigo who was playing their first match under new coach Oscar Garcia.
Lionel Messi scored the opening goal from the penalty spot after Junior Firpo’s cross struck defender Joseph Aidoo’s arm.
Lucas Olaza equalized the lead with an excellent free-kick for the visitors, but Messi brought back the lead with a similar attempt four minutes later.
Ousmane Dembele, who had replaced Ansu Fati at the interval, then saw a cross headed away, but Busquets was on hand to hit home with a sweet strike for 4-1 five minutes from time.
Celta Vigo, playing their first game under new manager Óscar Garcia, started brightly as they looked to test a Barcelona side condemned to a shock 3-1 defeat by Levante last weekend.
Their early hard work was undone by Aidoo’s handball, and there was nothing goalkeeper Rubén Blanco could do as Messi’s inch-perfect free-kicks either side of the interval wrestled the game away from the visitors.
Sources: Fourfourtwo, BBC Sport, SurgeZirc UK Sport