Barcelona registered 3-1 victory over Leganes on Saturday night. Lionel Messi was the center of attraction with his hat-trick. Argentine talisman scored his 44th career hat-trick (Barcelona -40, Argentina -4) for the club and the country to lead Barcelona to victory. It will also go down in history because Barcelona no.10 helped his team to equal La Liga’s long-running 38 years old unbeaten run.
Real Sociedad holds the record for most games unbeaten record in La Liga history. Sociedad achieved the record in 1979/80 season with their 32 game unbeaten records carrying over from 1978/79 season’s last six games. Now, Barcelona have equal their records and they can outsmart them with a victory against Valencia next week.
The five talking points came out from the Barcelona vs Leganes match:
Leo #Messi hat-trick⚽⚽⚽
— GOATLeo MeSSiAH (@messi4vr) April 8, 2018
- Lionel Messi – He was at his best as he scored yet another hat-trick. A perfectly taken free-kick, a great understanding between him and new signing Coutinho to score second, and third came in from his eagerness to strive for more. A perfect night for Barcelona superstar.
- Luis Suarez – The Uruguayan didn’t find his place on the scoresheet, but he was central to Barcelona’s attack. He distracted Leganes defenders and get them engaged with him, and in the meantime trio of Messi, Coutinho and Dembele weaved their magic. Although he finds himself often in offside position, he is at his best doing what he does.
- Coutinho – He still needs to work hard to adapt to Barcelona playing style and need to help Barcelona in defense as well. He lacks defensive quality but in offensive play, he is at his best. Lionel Messi’s second goal came from his clinical pass. If you will watch that goal, you’ll see how good that pass was from Coutinho. He made it possible despite having less room to produce that. It was clinical
- Ousmane Dembele – Dembele is still in his learning period and he is adapting well to his given role. Barcelona forward duo – Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez do little when it comes to running back and help his team defensively. Dembele is covering for them with his pace as he makes both forward and backward run confidently. He makes tackles, press opposition to recover the ball. It was something Barcelona lacking to play their possession game at their best.
- Ivan Rakitic – Barcelona have always struggled in midfield since Xavi retired. Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta’s injury have made life difficult for them, but Ivan Rakitic was his best against Leganes. He orchestrated the midfield play as a deep-lying midfielder adopting in the role of Busquets.
However, Barcelona lacks the bench strength but they have the potential to become the world’s best again. As Diego Simeone rightly said, I don’t know about the best team but Real Madrid has the best squad. If Barcelona wants to compete with Real Madrid on the level term, they need to look after their bench strength as well. Paco Alcacer, Andre Gomes, Thomas Vermaelen, Denis Suarez, Lucas Digne doesn’t bring fear in opposition camp from the bench. And look at Real Madrid bench; they have Marco Asensio, Lucas Vazquez, Mateo Kovacic, and Isco who can change the game coming from the bench.