Lionel Messi's sensational hat-trick eased Barcelona to an emphatic 4-0 victory over PSV Eindhoven in their opening Champions League encounter. Ousmane Dembele, too, got on the scoresheet in the 75th-minute, allowing Barcelona to drive home, comfortably.
Here are three major talking points from the Catalan outfit's emphatic win at Camp Nou on Tuesday.
3. Too Steep a Mountain for PSV
The Dutch outfit were coming into the match on a five-game winning streak, in which they had scored a whopping 21 goals. Against the Spanish juggernauts, it was always going to be a difficult affair, but they still refused to go down without a fight.
While Barcelona did dominate every aspect of play, PSV, too, did their best to have their moments. Their passing and movement looked sharp and could've even gotten on the scoresheet in the first half. But sadly, without a cohesive midfield, it almost always is too difficult to get the better of Barcelona.
2. Barcelona's Dominant Display
Before the matched kicked-off, most of us had tipped Barcelona to blow the visitors away, and the Catalans certainly didn't disappoint. They took just 10 minutes to announce their arrival as Philippe Coutinho came agonisingly close to giving Barcelona the lead.
In the 21st minute, they carved out another chance, but this time, too, they failed to hit the target as Luis Suarez dragged Lionel Messi's inviting ball just wide. Finally, Messi broke the deadlock just past the half-hour mark, setting Barcelona en route to a comfortable win.
1. Magical Messi
Lionel Messi has had to endure a lot of criticism for not turning up in big Champions League ties over the last few years. Last night's fixture was not the toughest of the lot, but was enough for Messi to make a statement.
The mercurial Argentine opened his scoring in the 31st minute, curling a free-kick over the wall with his left foot and into the top corner. He doubled his tally in the 77th minute as Ivan Rakitic's brilliantly lofted ball found him in a comfortable position.
Messi added another in the 88th minute from Suarez's dinked ball, bagging his eighth Champions League hat-trick - a record in the competition.