Lionel Messi hat-trick gives Barcelona flawless start

Marcus Newton
September 20, 2018

Liverpool were rewarded for their excellent start as they found themselves two goals up after 36 minutes, Daniel Sturridge getting the opener before James Milner netted a penalty.

"Messi, like all of us, is really motivated to win big things [this season] and the Champions League is one of them".

The other game in Group B saw Inter Milan come from behind to beat Tottenham 2-1 at the San Siro.

Dembele was fouled by Nick Viergever and Messi nonchalantly curled the ball into the top-right corner beyond a helpless Jeroen Zoet.

Dembele lashed home Barcelona's second from long range in the 74th minute before Messi rounded off another dazzling display despite French defender Samuel Umtiti's late red card for two bookable offences.

The hat trick was Messi's eighth in the Champions League, breaking a tie with Cristiano Ronaldo for the most in tournament history. Three times, Messi has hit hat-tricks in his opening game. Speaking ahead of PSV's Champions League clash away to Barcelona on Tuesday, Lozano has spoken about his desire to play in the famous blue and red one day.

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Barcelona will also wonder how they would have made the breakthrough without the individual genius of Messi.

It started with Dembele launching a shot from outside the box.

Van Bommel also lauded five-time world player of the year Messi, saying: "For me he is the best player in the world". He received the ball from Croatia's Ivan RAKITIC and from inside the area slotted it passed the goalkeeper for Barcelona's third of the night. He completed his first hat trick of the season after Luis Suarez set him up on a counterattack.

"He makes the extraordinary look routine".

Van Bommel wasn't angry with his players though and accepts that Barcelona are a step above PSV, "You can lose here; there is no shame in that. We haven't won it in a few years but we have the players and we are hungry to go out there and win it".

His first real impression, however, was not what anyone in the Mestalla could have imagined though as he was sent off for the first time in the Champions League in his 154th appearance.

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