Barcelona were once more in imperious form as they destroyed PSV 4-0 in Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League Group B clash at the Camp Nou.
Barcelona 4 PSV 0
Messi (31′) gets first and Dembele (74′) the second
Argentina superstar (77′) completes brace
Umtiti sees red
Messi (87′) slots late fourth
Barca were in control throughout and took a 1-0 lead into the break through Lionel Messi, who completed his brace soon after Ousmane Dembele’s goal despite a red card to Samuel Umtiti. The Argentine genius ended with a superb hat-trick at the death.
As expected Barcelona came out and controlled the majority of possession in the early exchanges and probed forward constantly in the pursuit of the opening goal.
In the 11th minute the first nearly arrived as Philippe Coutinho picked out the lively Luis Suarez on the right flank. He showed superb control before sending a dinked cross into the area towards Coutinho, but the Brazil star saw his header go over the bar when he may have done better.
Largely against the run of play, PSV nearly responded after a flowing move in the 14th minute. Steven Bergwijn raced clear down the left-hand side channel after being found by Luuk de Jong. He cut inside before hitting a lovely strike on target which flashed just inches wide of the far post with goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen showing concern.
Soon afterwards, Messi had his first impact after good work from Coutinho and Suarez. With that said, the little magician saw his chip go over the crossbar.
In the 21st minute Barca fluffed a great chance to take the advantage after Messi found Suarez in the area with three PSV defenders taken out of the game. However, the Uruguay forward sent his effort into the side-netting from a tight angle.
Nonetheless, the Blaugrana made the breakthrough just after the half-hour mark when Dembele was bundled down just outside the area by Nick Viergever. From the resulting free-kick, Messi sent a stunning curler into the top corner for his 61st Champions League goal.
After the break, the Catalan giants continued to remain in the ascendancy though they were creating largely half-chances.
In the 68th minute it was close to being 2-0 to the Spanish champions as Coutinho found space and played a cross into Suarez, though the striker saw his chipped effort bounce off the woodwork.
The pressure paid dividends in the 75th minute after unbelievable skill and a finish from Dembele, who turned Jorrit Hendrix and Hirving Lozano before firing home from outside the area.
Two minutes later Messi completed his brace after getting on the end of a superb Ivan Rakitic pass, which he tucked home beyond Jeroen Zoet from close range.
The action was hotting up and soon afterwards Umtiti was handed a red card after a needless second yellow following a poor challenge on Lozano.
With that said, Barca were still totally dominant as Messi completed his hat-trick in the closing stages, beating Daniel Schwaab with ease before converting beyond Zoet from Suarez’s pass.