Messi shines as Barca thrashes Espanyol

Lionel Messi scored two spectacular free kicks as Barcelona thrashed local rival Espanyol 4-0 in Catalan derby of La Liga.
Messi shines as Barca thrashes Espanyol

Madrid

The champion swept to victory in Cornella as Messi put on a sublime show in the week he was ranked the fifth best player in the world at Monday’s Ballon d’Or awards. The Argentine whipped a free-kick into the top right corner in the 17th minute before brilliantly setting up Ousmane Dembele to double Barcelona’s lead.

Luis Suarez added the third just before half-time with a shot from a tight angle that deflected in off goalkeeper Diego Lopez. Messi completed the rout with another special free-kick in the 65th minute and VAR ruled out a consolation from Oscar Duarte for offside at the other end. Espanyol’s fourth consecutive league defeat left it ninth in the standings, but, it didn’t stand a chance with Messi in this mood. Messi tormented Espanyol’s defence and created several openings for his team mates, with Suarez hitting the post from one delightful lobbed pass.

Dembele also impressed, starting on the left ahead of Philippe Coutinho as a reward for his recent improvement in form. 

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