Published: Sun, November 10, 2019
Sport | By

Messi gives set-piece masterclass as Barca crush Celta

Messi gives set-piece masterclass as Barca crush Celta

Real Madrid had earlier defeated Eibar 4-0 to move first in the table, but this result sees Barcelona reclaim top spot on goal difference.

Celta equalized from an excellent free kick three minutes before halftime with Lucas Olaza beating Ter Stegen after a foul committed by Messi.

Moments later Messi struck again, stepping up after Frenkie de Jong was fouled and sending a carbon copy of his first-half free-kick looping beyond the diving Blanco to complete his hat-trick.

Both Blaugrana talisman Messi and Ronaldo have now netted 34 trebles in Spain's top tier, although the former Real Madrid forward, having previously played for Sporting CP and Manchester United before joining Juventus past year, had a shorter stay in the division.

"With Messi anything is possible", he said. If they do, we try to take advantage.

The way Messi scored an unforgettable free-kick just before half-time and then casually repeated the feat three minutes after the break provided a reminder - if it were needed - that he operates on a level above any of his peers. "Even more so in a team like ours", Valverde said in quotes reported by Marca. "Having him around gives us a real boost".

It had been a torrid week for the Blaugrana, who lost 3-1 at Levante before being held to a goalless draw by Slavia Prague, but Messi scored a penalty and two superb free-kicks as his side returned to the top of LaLiga. "The other day we had a painful defeat and we had to win today".

The former Brighton and Watford manager, who started his career at the Nou Camp, said: "We wanted to go out, be courageous and win".

"We know that there are matches which we haven't won and that always creates instability for morale".

Barcelona right-back Nelson Semedo became the latest player in the club to pick up an injury, as he suffered a calf problem and got substituted during their clash against Celta Vigo at the Camp Nou on Saturday.

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