|Barça players celebrate goal in 7-0 win vs Celtic|
FC Barcelona got their 2016/2017 UEFA Champions League campaign off a winning start and it was just winning, but a beautiful one as they comprehensively saw of Scottish Champions Celtic 7-0 at the Camp Nou.
Following Barça’s disappointing 2-1 home loss to Alaves on Saturday, Luis Enrique’s men looked to bounce back against Celtic and it ended up being the case as a hat-trick from Lionel Messi, a brace from Luis Suarez and one goal each for Andres Iniesta and Neymar ensured the Catalans make up for the woeful Liga loss.
Luis Enrique made 8 changes to the side that lost to Alaves with Marc Andre Ter Stegen, Sergi Roberto, Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti, Jordi Alba, Andre Gomes, Messi and Neymar all returning to the lineup and Barça didn’t waste much time in getting down to business as captain Messi put them in the lead with just 3 minutes into the game as he fired a powerful shot near post to beat the keeper after being fed by a superb Neymar pass.
Messi looked to be in the mood as he came close to scoring his second minutes later whilst also setting up Luis Suarez and Jordi Alba with marvellous passes.
Celtic had the chance to level things up after Ter Stegen committed a foul in the box to hand the visitors a penalty, but Moussa Dembele had his spot kick well saved by the German goalkeeper who returned to the lineup ahead of Jasper Cillessen.
It looked like that action provoked the host and Messi got his second after 27 minutes. The Argentine linked up superbly with Neymar who set him up for a tap in after both players sliced through Celtic defence like it was nothing.
The first half ended 2-0 and Andres Iniesta was brought on at halftime for Rakitic and the party continued. Neymar got Barça’s third five minutes into the second half with a wonderful curling free kick that left the goalkeeper with no chance.
Iniesta made it four for the host 9 minutes later through a sumptuous strike. The Spaniard volleyed a cross from Neymar to but Barça in a very comfortable position, handing Neymar his 3rd assist of the game. Messi then grabbed his hat-trick moments later after being set up by Luis Suarez who wasn’t having his best game.
Suarez decided to make his presence felt too and made it 6-0 for Barça with a hilarious strike. Neymar got his fourth assist of the night by setting up Suarez with a lobbed cross, the Uruguay striker controlled the ball with his chest before smashing in a left-footer barely looking at where the goal was. He grabbed his brace to make it 7-0 during the dying stages after Messi set in up for a tap in.
It was a wonderful game and just the perfect start for Barça, one the coach will be pleased with.