|Lionel Messi and Sergi Roberto celebrate against Real Betis|
Barça put up a fantastic performance on Saturday night as they kicked off their 2016/2017 La Liga campaign with a comfortable 6-2 over Andalusian club Real Betis at the Camp Nou to go top of the table from gameweek one.
Lionel Messi dazzled in the game by putting up one of his trademark good performances and provided one goal whilst scoring two others. Luis Suarez netted a hat-trick while Arda Turan scored once. Here are five lessons from the win.
5 THINGS WE LEARNED – FC BARCELONA 6-2 REAL BETIS
1. LIONEL MESSI CONTINUES TO BE KING
One of the hardest task on earth right now is using words to explain Messi’s performance against Real Betis. The Argentine played like he had a personal beef with the Andalusian club in the past. It was like a party for him and his displays were melodious with all the players dancing to his tunes. He scored twice, hit the post and assisted Suarez’s goal but these were the least thing he did. He was all over the place, everywhere, it was the Messi we knew, the best player in the world.
His performance came as no surprise, he’s been the best player of 2016, easily, and we can only hope and pray he continues in this form because it’s magisterial. He made the entire Barça players play well around him, making Sergi Roberto look like Dani Alves in his prime and Denis Suarez like Iniesta. It was unreal.
2. SAMUEL UMTITI WILL TROUBLE MASCHERANO
Barça signed defender Samuel Umtiti from Lyon to complement the Pique-Mascherano partnership but the Frenchman showed against Real Betis that he has all it takes to make the starting XI. He has great talent and is a typical Barça player, he doesn’t have the Barça DNA, the Barça DNA has Umtiti in it. His calmness and composure is second to none and he plays like he’s been at the club’s setup for 43 years. He’s easily the best signing so far this summer.
3. THE SQUAD DEPTH CONTINUES TO PAY OFF
Barça came into the game against Real Betis without seven players. Andres Iniesta, Jeremy Mathieu, Javier Mascherano and Ter Stegen missed out through injuries, Rafinha and Neymar were on international duty while Andre Gomes was suspended, but somehow, Luis Enrique’s team played like they had twice the squad. The sharpness in all position was great and with Lionel Messi on top form and Luis Suarez clinical no one needs a full squad honestly. It’s fascinating.
4. NO DISPUTES! SERGI ROBERTO IS THE RIGHT BACK
There have been debates all over Cule verse on who will succeed club legend Dani Alves as the starter at right back position with Sergi Roberto and Aleix Vidal battling it out. It now seems like the former will be the number one as he’s been clearly better in that position. He pulled off an astonishing performance against Betis, setting up two goals and it looks like he’s Luis Enrique’s favourite. Aleix Vidal will have to up his game to displace the 24-year old. The competition will be healthy.
5. ARDA TURAN IS THE BEST SIGNING IN BARÇA’S HISTORY
Sorry for the exaggeration. Actually, Arda Turan didn’t have a very good first season at Barça and it was due to his not playing for half the season. The star took part in Barça’s preseason and Luis Enrique discovered he will triumph as a winger and that is exactly the case.
Turan now has 3 goals in two games and apart from the goals, he’s been amazing overall. He now has more confidence in himself (although his smile is still awkward, needs to fix that) and tries things. His link up with Messi for Suarez’s second goal was a good sight and we can only hope he continues like this.