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Lionel Messi Scores His Eighth Champions League Hat-Trick

19 September, 2018, 20:49 | Author: Lora Ball
  • Lionel Messi bagged another Champions League hat-trick for Barcelona

"4-0 is too heavy", PSV's coach Mark van Bommel said afterwards, and he was right. "Those five goals in six games have buried the worst year of Dembele's life". Lionel Messi named the captain of Barcelona. Three times, Messi has hit hat-tricks in his opening game.

"He makes the extraordinary look routine". He covers less distance than other players, but when he needs to spring into action, he does. Philippe Coutinho was impressive here and, after a hard debut campaign, Dembele is finding his rhythm, and his place.

Meanwhile, Kylian Mbappe, the teenage star widely viewed as the man capable of dethroning Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in a near future as the best player in the world, endured a frustrating night in a 3-2 loss with Paris Saint-Germain at Liverpool.

After winning the Europa League last season, Atletico Madrid are targeting Champions League glory with the final to be played in their own stadium.

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Perhaps more importantly, this victory was a clean slate for Barcelona.

And Rakitic is aware of the challenges that await in the competition as he acknowledged the need for his side to keep improving on their win over PSV if they are to come out victorious in the Spanish capital come May.

It took some time for Dembele to find his footing tonight after producing a tame first-half performance but, after the restart, the 21-year-old exploded into life and lit up the Camp Nou with a fine finish - his importance to this side can not be questioned on recent evidence.

The free-kick was made from 20 yards.

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Messi scored his second goal only two minutes later when Ivan Rakitic's pass was netted home for Barcelona's third goal.

He has scored an incredible eight in 2018 and already has two this season. He has never scored more in a year.

Valverde's men famously capitulated in the second half of the away leg against the Giallorossi but, having significantly bolstered their armoury over the summer, another result like that seems unlikely.

Zoet was beaten all ends up as Suarez dug out a marvellous lob from the edge of the area, only for the Uruguay global to be cruelly denied by the bar. PSV were still in it and could have equalised when Hirving Lozano's finish was blocked, crucially, by Gerard Pique.

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But the French champions pulled one back before the interval through Thomas Meunier - the goal allowed to stand despite Edinson Cavani being offside in the build-up. First Dembele, after leaving two PSV midfielders for dead with a dragback, unleashed into the bottom corner.

Lozano was Juan Carlos Osorio's secret weapon in Russian Federation for Mexico, and it appears Mark van Bommel is following suit in his use of the 23-year-old; the incisive winger got Umtiti sent off and he will cause Inter Milan and Spurs big problems. "We should have stopped him", he said.

Messi's second goal came after he received a flawless pass by Ivan Rakitic inside the area and calmly sent a low shot into the far corner.

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