Marking Lionel Messi is like marking the smoke monster in Lost, even on a good day. When La Pulga is feeling particularly motivated, as he has been so far this season, it's like if the smoke monster could also teleport and shoot lasers.
Eibar found that out the hard way, finding themselves on the wrong side of a 6-1 demolition by Barcelona, four of which came from Messi.
On the back of Sunday’s Ligue 1 fiasco which saw Paris Saint-Germain beat a French opponent by only two goals, Edinson Cavani moved quickly to dismiss the simmering rumors of an irrevocable fallout between himself and new boy Neymar.
Barcelona continue to set the pace at the top of La Liga following a spirited, come from behind victory at Getafe on Saturday. A wonder goal from Gaku Shibasaki gave Azulones a shock lead, but second half strikes from Denis Suarez and Paulinho maintained Barcelona’s perfect start to the season after four matches.
There’s an immediate hot take available here that I just can’t commit myself to: the departure of Neymar from Barcelona has had an uplifting effect on 33-year-old midfielder Andres Iniesta, and El Ilusionista is about to enjoy the consummate season because of a mixture of peak footballing intelligence and a proverbial unchaining on the left-hand side of Barca’s midfield.
Juventus arrived at the 2016-17 Champions League Final having surrendered only three goals in 12 matches. Thanks in large part to Lionel Messi, that total was matched in the 2017-18 edition of the competition after only one match, or 69 minutes to be precise.
Messi scored a fantastic brace and Ivan Rakitic added one of his own as Barcelona throttled an under-strength Juventus 3-0 at the Camp Nou to begin Champions League group play.
Part of what makes Luis Suarez so brilliant is that he’s absolutely insane. Occasionally this particular character trait can manifest itself poorly, but it’s also the same quirk that propelled him from Montevideo’s Nacional to the Camp Nou.
Suarez made his 2017-18 La Liga bow on Saturday and that insanity was on full display in the match’s final three minutes. With Barcelona leading 3-0, Suarez became hilariously incandescent with Gerard Pique after the defender scored Barca’s fourth in the 87th minute.