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A brilliant Messi leads Barcelona in the Catalan Derby

Lionel Messi
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Another brilliant performance by Lionel Messi in a Catalan Derby, he scored a brace, Suarez, and Dembele scored goals as well.

We were already happy with how well Lionel Messi was playing this season for FC Barcelona, but we still hadn’t gotten a performance as great as the one he delivered this Saturday in the Catalan Derby against Espanyol.

Easily his best performance in La Liga this season not only for the two set-piece goals he scored, but also for the varied repertoire he offered throughout the 90 minutes of the game.

If this same version of Lionel Messi gets to play against Tottenham next week, the Spurs won’t stand a chance because the man is completely unplayable right now.

Leo started the show with a perfect free-kick on the 17th minute of the game, his shot was directed straight to the top corner and goalkeeper Diego Lopez had no chance to stop it at all.

The most impressive play of the whole match came around the 25th minute of play, as Messi lost a ball in the outskirts of the box and he was the one who came back to recover the ball.

As Lionel took the opportunity back, he saw Dembele moving on the left flank and dropped him a clinical assist between the lines.

The French youngster proved that he is completely recovered from his off-the-field problems with a great finish to the top corner, it was 2-0 for Barcelona and not even half an hour was passed.

The whole crowd at Cornella was left stunned for how dominant Barcelona was getting so early in the game, people were left scratching their heads and wondering how they could even compete against such power.

Before the halftime whistle, Dembele set up Luis Suarez with a pass that left him with practically no angle to finish but the Uruguayan still managed to get the ball past Lopez for Barcelona third goal.

This last action before the whistle was key for Barcelona to completely close the match, and also kill any hope that Espanyol had to get back in the game during the second half.

After the break, FC Barcelona clearly came back with fewer intentions to keep hurting their opponent, but Lionel Messi kept going forward because he didn’t seem satisfied with the 3-0 result.

It took him 20 minutes to get another chance through yet another set-piece that he didn’t waste, only this time he sent his shot to the opposite corner with the same final result.

With this brace, Lionel Messi has now scored 20 goals to Espanyol and surpassed Langara and Zarra as the player with more goals against the same club in La Liga’s history.

Lionel also reached two other impressive landmarks. He became the first player in the last 11 years to score two free-kicks in the same game, the last one to do it was Ronaldinho with his two set-pieces against Real Betis back on 4 November 2007.

Lionel also reached 19 free-kick goals for Barcelona in the last four years, he has scored more set-pieces than any other club in the world during the same period of time.

Juventus is the club that is closer to Messi with 18 free-kicks scored since 2014, but it took six different players to get there.

Barcelona has scored a total of 24 free-kicks since 2014, with Messi scoring 19 of those with his left foot.

Near the end of the match, Espanyol attempted to score a goal during another set-piece but the referee disallowed it because it was netted during an offside.

The crowd inside Cornella were pissed for this, but the replay shows that the goal was fairly disallowed.

This result gives Barcelona another three points and La Liga’s lead with 31 points above Sevilla and Atletico Madrid, both clubs with 28 points.

This brace also helped Messi reach Stuani at the top of the goal-scoring table with 11 goals each, Iago Aspas is trailing behind them with 10.


What did you think about Lionel Messi’s performance against Espanyol this Saturday? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.