Video: Barcelona 5 – 0 Celta [La Liga Highlights]
The Argentine contributed two goals and two assists as the Catalans ran riot ahead of their make or break Champions League tie against PSG
Lionel Messi was at his sublime best as he scored two and inspired three more goals in Barcelona’s 5-0 hammering of Celta Vigo, their first match since head coach Luis Enrique announced his plans to leave at the end of the season.
Luis Enrique confirmed his imminent departure after Wednesday’s 6-1 dismantling of Sporting Gijon and that certainly did not appear to distract his men in any way as talisman Messi led from the front in a sensational display to see Barca retain their place at LaLiga’s summit, a point ahead of Real Madrid who have a game in hand.
Barca played the first half with real freedom and carved Celta open several times before eventually breaking the deadlock through Messi, who applied a typically clinical finish after a fine run.
The Argentina international ran the show and caused havoc in his free role, setting Neymar up for Barca’s delightful second five minutes before the interval.
Messi then unlocked the Celta defence in the lead up to Ivan Rakitic’s controversial third, before then laying the ball on a plate for Samuel Umtiti’s first Barca goal.
The inspirational forward then doubled his personal tally with what was Barca’s third goal in seven minutes, securing another emphatic victory ahead their attempt at a Champions League last-16 rescue job when they host Paris Saint-Germain at Camp Nou with the Ligue 1 champions leading 4-0 from the first leg.