Barcelona continued their impeccable start to this season's Champions League after a convincing win over Olympiakos on Wednesday. Coming into the game off the back of a hard fought draw with Atletico Madrid on the weekend, the Blaugrana were looking to bounce back with a victory.
Barcelona started the game as they meant to go on, with early pressure from the offset after Luis Suarez sliced a golden chance wide after the ball was flashed across the box by Deulofeu.
In a fairly eventful first half, summer signing Paulinho could've had three goals come half time had it not been for a wrongly disallowed goal and the underside of the bar. Eventually, luck eventually swung Barca's way when Deulofeu's dangerous cross was inadvertently turned in by centre back Nikolauou after trying to prevent the ball from reaching the oncoming Lionel Messi.
Deulofeu continued to have an abundance of joy down the right flank, causing all sorts of problems for Kourtris at left back. The former Everton winger was showing his critics just what he is capable of; cutting inside as well as getting to the by-line on numerous occasions.
Olympiakos' only attempt of the half came when Odjidja's speculative volley sailed over and wide of Ter-Stegen in the Barcelona goal. However, some good fortune did come the Greek champions' way when Gerard Pique was shown a second yellow after purposely handling the ball into the Olympiakos net just before the end of the half. For all the home side's pressure, they couldn't quite find the finishing touch to send them into the break with a comfortable lead.
Pique's dismissal saw Deulofeu's impressive performance cut short after being replaced at half time, which almost seemed to suck the life out of the game in the opening stages of the second half. Barcelona were forced to play narrower, switching to a 4-3-2 formation.
A fairly pedestrian opening 15 minutes suddenly transformed into a game bursting with life after Lionel Messi stroked a wonderful free kick into the top corner to grab his 100th European goal, as well as his 50th in 48 games in 2017.
100 European goals for Lionel Messi! pic.twitter.com/qpwTW5l69i— B/R Football (@brfootball) October 18, 2017
This was quickly added by a third when french international Lucas Digne smashed home a loose cross into the far corner after making a late run into the box.
The rest of the half saw Barca continue their pressure, with the away side happy to sit back and invite the pressure. Going into the closing stages, they started to put together a few attacks until Nikolauou redeemed himself with a spectacular looping header after his own goal in the first half. This was the first goal that Barcelona have conceded so far in this season's competition.