Barcelona started this year’s Champions League competition on an impressive note by beating Dutch side PSV Eindhoven by four-goals-to-zero inside the Camp Nou.
Lionel Messi was at his devastating best , scoring a hat-trick as his side made short shrift of their opponent . The goals he scored were in part due to his good positional sense and excellent technique and the sublime passes he received from his team mates.
Barcelona with their characteristic passing game dominated the majority of the ball possession in the first half of the match , but PSV Eindhoven were able to prevent them for a long time from breaching their heavily manned final third.
The first goal-scoring chance in the match arose when Gaston Pereiro received a pass inside Barcelona’s eighteen yard but his powerful shot missed the target by fee inches.
Barcelona came close to scoring in the eleventh minute when a Luis Suarez’s cross found Philippe Coutinho inside PSV eighteen yard box , but the Brazilian headed the ball over the crossbar.
A PSV Einhoven attacking move enabled Steven Bergwijn to raced with the ball deep into Barcelona’s final third but his curling shot towards the goalpost lacked sufficient bend to find its target.
The away team continued to keep their defensive shape in the face of Barcelona sustained attacking play.
Lionel Messi balloned a Coutinho’s cross that located him inside PSV’s eighteen yard over the crossbar.
Messi showed a spark of his football genius when his pass from outside the eighteen yard split the defense-line of the opponent and found Suarez inside the eighteen yard box , but the Uruguayan striker hit the side net with his shot from an oblique angle .
Jeroen Zoet made a brilliant save of Sergio Roberto’s long-range shot to prevent the Barcelona’s right-back from entering the scorer’s sheet.
A minute before the half hour mark , Nick Viergever fouled Ousamane Dembele and a free-kick was awarded to Barcelona few yards away from PSV”S eighteen yard box, and Messi curled the free-kick into the net.
Luuk De Jong wasted a chance to equalize the score when he shot the ball over the crossbar after skillfully controlling itl at the tip of the home team’s eighteen yard box , a move that afforded him the purchase and the poise to shoot at the goal post.
In one of PSV’s attacking play Steven Bergwijn , operating from the right flank , found Hirving Lozano with a cross inside the opponent’s eighteen yard box but Marc-Andre Ter Stegern punched the ball out of play.
Barcelona tore PSV into shreds in the second half in which the Spanish giants scored three additional goals ; the Dutch side had a few goal-scoring chances which they were unable to convert to goals.
Lozano’s poor finishing denied PSV a chance to score in the fifty three minute. The Mexican winger was fed a pass inside Barcelona’s final third by Steven Bergwijn , who initiated the counter attack from the right flank , but Lozano hurriedly shot the ball far away from its intended target.
Barcelona took their attacking play into PSV’s half of the pitch , pinning their opponent to their half and forcing them to defend against the home team’s ceaseless attacking play.
In the fifty fourth minute , Coutinho shot the ball wide off the goalpost after a loose ball fell to his path inside PSV’s eighteen yard .
Three minutes later , goalkeeper Joet brilliantly punched out of play Coutinho’s shot that was headed towards the far corner of the net.
Barcelona’s all-attacking football in the second half enabled PSV to launch few counter-attacking football , mainly through Steven Bergwijn. In one of their counter-attacks , it took the sliding tackle of Gerald Pique to deflect out of the pitch Lozano’s shot at the goalpost.
In the sixty seventh minute ,Suarez hit the crossbar following a combination play between his players which ended with him inside the opponent’s eighteen yard box.
Ousmane Dembele , who was very dangerous from the left flank , scored Barcelona’s second goal in the seventy first minute. The French winger received a pass from Coutinho in the attacking second , shook off two of the opponent’s markers and curled the ball into the net from the edge of the eighteen yard box.
Five minutes after Dembele’s goal, Messi scored his second goal of the match and his side’s third. An Ivan Rakitic’s pass found him in between two PSV’s defenders inside the eighteen yard box and he struck the ball into the far corner of the net.
Barcelona were reduced to ten men when Samuel Umtiti received his second yellow card for cynically bringing down Lozano as he was racing with the ball deep into Barcelona’s half of the pitch , and referee Anastasios Sidiropoulos gave him the matching order.
Messi scored with three minutes remaining in the normal time of the game. He latched onto Luis Suarez’s side-boot pass inside PSV’s eighteen yard box and struck the ball unerringly into the net.
With this emphatic victory, Barcelona have started this year’s Champion’s league campaign on a good note.