Watch: Lionel Messi scores two stunning free kicks as Barcelona thrash Espanyol

first_imgLionel Messi recently finished fifth in the race for Ballon d’Or but on Saturday night, the Barcelona ace showed exactly why he’s right at the top. Barcelona eased past local rivals Espanyol 4-0 in the La Liga and it was Messi who shone the brightest on the day.Barcelona did not just score four goals but two of them were spectacular free kicks from Messi that absolutely deflated Espanyol.In the 17th minute, Messi whipped a free kick into the top right corner giving the Espanyol goalkeeper absolutely no chance to get to the ball.Messi then scored another special free kick in the 65th minute to stamp his authority over the match.It was not just the free kicks but Lionel Messi was everywhere in the Barcelona victory. Soon after scoring a free kick, Messi brilliantly set up Ousmane Dembele for a beautiful goal.Luis Suarez then added the third just before halftime with a shot from a tight angle that deflected in off goalkeeper Diego Lopez.Espanyol could have got a consolation but VAR ruled out the goal from Oscar Duarte for offside.Espanyol’s fourth consecutive league defeat left them ninth in the standings, but they didn’t stand a chance with Messi in this mood.”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.”We had a great game, a derby is always difficult and we deserved the four goals.”advertisementMessi 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.Along with Suarez, who caused havoc with his work-rate and grit, the trio were simply too hot for Espanyol to handle.With the win, Barcelona took the top spot in the La Liga table again with 31 points from 15 games. Sevilla are second with 28 points, Atletico Madrid third with as many points and Alaves complete the top four with 24 points. Real Madrid are fifth with 23 points from 15 games.(With Reuters inputs)Also Read | Diego Maradona was much better than Lionel Messi, says PeleAlso Read | It is a unique feeling, hard to describe in words: Modric after winning Ballon d’Orlast_img