FC Barcelona continued their flawless start to the season with a 6-1 win over Eibar at Camp Nou. The first half was well contested but the Blaugrana went into the break with a 2-0 lead courtesy of strikes from Leo Messi and summer signing Paulinho.
The Brazilian netted the crucial second goal with a fine header, and would later provide an assist. After the break, it became a show of Messi magic with the Argentine scoring a further three to continue his superb opening to the current campaign.
In the opening exchanges, Eibar were holding their own against the pressure of the hosts, but eventually they succumbed when Nélson Semedo was felled in the area in the 20th minute. Messi made no mistake from the spot to give Barça a lead that was on the cards.
With the hosts turning the screw, the second seemed inevitable and it arrived seven minutes before the interval. Messi powered an effort at goal, and from the resulting corner Paulinho headed home to double the lead with his second goal in four days.
After the break, the home side stepped up a gear and turned what had been a tight contest into a comfortable victory on the scoreboard. After 53 minutes, they were coasting when Denis Suárez netted after Messi’s initial effort was parried by visiting keeper Marko Dmitrovic.
The visitors never gave up, and four minutes later they reduced the arrears. A cross found its way into the box and with the ball eluding Gerard Piqué, Sergi Enrich was at hand to stab a shot home to make it 3-1.
But the revival was short lived, for within two minutes Messi was at hand again to restore Barcelona’s three goal advantage, curling the ball home from outside the area despite the close attention of the Eibar defence.
And on 62 minutes, he would have his hat-trick. After breaking lose on the right, he was played through by Paulinho before shooting low across the keeper.
Messi completed the scoring three minutes from the end after a one-two with the substitute Aleix Vidal. Though Dmitrovic got a hand to the shot from six yards, it wasn’t enough to stop the Argentine from adding his fourth of the game.