Outstanding Leo Messi leads Barca to easy derby win

Outstanding Leo Messi leads Barca to easy derby win

Outstanding Leo Messi leads Barca to easy derby win

Messi helped lead the Blaugrana to a 4-0 derby win over Espanyol by bookending goals from Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez with two fantastic free-kicks.

Barca led in the 17th minute thanks to the first moment of Messi magic in an astounding display.

Messi was prevented a hat-trick by a smart Diego Lopez save in the 69th minute, and Espanyol thought that they had registered in the 73rd minute when Duarte converted a Sergio Garcia free kick.

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

The match was done and dusted when Messi found the top corner from another free-kick from outside the box, giving Lopez no chance whatsoever.

Victor Sanchez headed over the Barcelona crossbar 10 minutes from time as Espanyol continued to search for a goal, and it nearly arrived when Baptistao struck towards the far corner, but the ball just deflected wide. He practicies free kicks there and has tremendous efficiency.

Messi began stealing the show after his roving left-foot pass over the defence found Suarez who took aim with an acrobatic volley but was denied by the post.

"We know what Leo is like, he doesn't need to demonstrate anything to us, we don't agree with the Ballon d'Or rankings", Barca midfielder Ivan Rakitic said. The Uruguay forward held off defender David Lopez to somehow, from the tightest of angles, stab the ball between the legs of the goalkeeper and in off the far post.

Dembele was sent clear before feeding Messi in a crowded Espanyol penalty area and his shot was blocked by Diego Lopez.

And it was Espanyol who paid the price.

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

However, following a lengthy review from the Video Assistant Referee, the goal was ruled out for offside.

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