Barcelona can never be same without Messi, and it was clearly visible in early minutes of the game. But this is the time for others to rise, and they have done it in past, so they can do it again, and they made a promising start. Barcelona see off Sporting Gijon at Estadio El Molinon, with an emphatic 5-0 victory. Last season Barcelona also played without Messi almost same time as this season and they did very well, and good news is this season they made a promising start as well. Luis Suarez and Neymar took the charge last season, and they are up for the challenge this season as well. As Suarez opened the scoring, Rafinha added second, and Neymar scored a brace before Arda Turan finally made it 5-0.
First thirty minutes game looked dull as Sporting shows some spirit to nullify Messi less Barcelona, but Sergio Busquets serving as Barcelona’s captain served the opener in Luis Suarez plate from deep pass. Suarez made a run, only needed to get past Sporting goal-keeper Ivan Cuellar, and he did it cleverly deceiving him to simply tap in an open net. It was the kind of opener Barcelona needed to open the Sporting five men defence. Second came quickly as Neymar finds Sergi Roberto on the right, and Roberto provided a brilliant cross in the Sporting penalty-box near post and Rafinha headed to make it 2-0 for Blaugranas.
Now, it was Neymar’s turn to pull his A-game in absence of Messi to fulfill the demands of his coach Luis Enrique. In second half Neymar was outstanding, as sporting lost their left-back Alberto Lora with a heavy tackle on Roberto, it wasn’t tough for the Brazilian to find the crack in Sporting’s a man down team. Neymar finds his first of the afternoon with a rebound from Paco Alcacer strike, which hit the crossbar. Alcacer still struggling to find his first goal in Barcelona’s shirt, made an immediate impact replacing Suarez. although, he didn’t score but Neymar must be thankful to him for the rebound goal, which only needed Neymar’s to cleverly outplay Cuellar.
Arda Turan scored his goal of the night with a header to take his goal tally to three in five games, despite playing as a substitute in two of them, and then in injury time Neymar made it 5-0 beating Cuellar once again between his legs.
It’s a beginning of Barcelona’s another season without Messi. Last season Barcelona’s no.10 was out for almost two months and then Barcelona didn’t lose much point, and this season they will be playing without Messi for three weeks. We hope Catalans will cope up with Messi’s small absence and he will get proper time to recover as fully fit.