Barcelona put in a dominating performance to sweep aside a week Celta Vigo team, despite being down to 10 men for much of the game.
Barcelona completed a comfortable 3-0 win over Celta Vigo at the Abanca Balaídos on Thursday night.
Celta Vigo started fairly well, pinning Barcelona inside their own final third for periods during the first 15 minutes and holding possession.
They were unable to exploit the brief period of dominance though and went behind when teenage sensation Ansu Fati scored his third goal in two games at the start of the La Liga season. Simply put, it was Barcelona at their best: everyone was involved in the move before Messi came up with some individual brilliance to take three defenders out of the game and squared it to Griezman who split the defence with a perfect pass that Fati finished with superb composure beyond his years.
Gerard Piqué saw his red card overturned for offside on 35 minutes after he brought down Iago Aspas who was in on goal but VAR was unable to help Clément Lenglet just before the half, as he was sent off after picking up his second yellow card. Messi and Piqué were furious at the time and significantly delayed the start of the second half by arguing with the ref in the tunnel, alongside Ronald Koeman. In reality, though it was an unnecessary and foolish challenge for Lenglet to make given he was already in the book.
Celta pushed forward after the half in search of an equaliser, switching to a back four as opposed to their initial five. However, more brilliance from Messi gave Barca the crucial second goal. Just six minutes after the restart he picked up the ball and beat 4 players with superb individual skill before he saw he shot deflected off centre-back Murillo and past a hopeless Villar in the Celta Vigo net.
Messi had another goal ruled out eight minutes later for offside and from then on the game was characterized by Celta Vigo holding possession in the Barcelona half, unable to create any real chances apart from Aspas forcing a great double save from Neto with a quarter of an hour to play.
In the last of five added minutes Messi saw another shot blocked and deflected up in the air and across the box but this time Sergi Roberto was on hand to volley home perfectly and put the icing on the cake of a great victory.
Ronald Koeman will be delighted with the result, which had Barcelona looking like they are getting back to their best.