On October 19 of the ongoing year, Barcelona hosted Manchester City in a group stage Champions League match which concluded in a 4-0 triumph for the Spanish club with Lionel Messi scoring a hat-trick and Neymar marking his name on the score-sheet in the last few minutes of the match.
Even though the final scoreboard displayed 4-0 in favor of Barcelona, the actual match was much more disputed as possession was split between 53% and 47% with the Spanish side having the slight upper hand and the rest of the statistics also showed that Barcelona had the advantage as well but only by a small margin.
The factor that did make the difference was Lionel Messi as the Argentine player was just reckless when he ran upfront and was a headache to the defenders of Manchester City. There was no doubt whatsoever that he was the man of the match as he scored 3 goals and Neymar scored his late goal thanks to a penalty kick after Messi had been brought down with a foul and instead of taking the set-piece, the Argentine attacker decided to allow his teammate Neymar to take the shot.
What makes this superb performance of Lionel Messi even better and particularly more impressive is the fact that the Argentine player has recently recovered from an injury and even though he has just recently came back from rehabilitation, this performance shows that despite being out of the playing grounds for almost 1 month Messi is still performing at a world class level.
Luis Enrique had nothing but praise concerning the star player of his team as the 46 year old manager had a few things to say when the match was over and said: “We saw Messi play like a kid in the school playground today.
“Any other player would be shaking after coming back from injury but if we have come to expect anything from Messi, it’s that.It doesn’t matter how long he’s been out for or how many games he’s missed; he has a total understanding of football. Anyone who ever doubts Messi is naive. Those of us lucky enough to see him train every day know what he does. He helps in every sense and he is a reference point for us, without a doubt.”