Barcelona won their fourth-straight La Liga game on Saturday as they registered a comfortable 5-0 triumph over Eibar at the Camp Nou.
The match saw Lionel Messi end his recent La Liga goal drought in stunning fashion as he found the back of the net on four occasions.
Emergency signing Martin Braithwaite made a splendid debut off the bench while the Blaugrana kept their first clean sheet in four league matches.
Here are three things we learned:
Lionel Messi ends goal drought in spectacular fashion: The Argentine’s goal drought was never a concern ahead of the game, given he had contributed six assists in the previous four matches without scoring.
However, the 32-year-old managed to end his worst scoreless run in six years in spectacular fashion as he scored four goals in the 5-0 drubbing of Eibar at home.
With the quadruple, Messi has moved five goals clear of Karim Benzema as La Liga’s top-scorer despite playing 331 minutes less than the France international.
Martin Braithwaite has a memorable debut: Braithwaite was signed as the emergency signing on Thursday from Leganes after Ousmane Dembele was ruled out for six months with a serious hamstring injury.
That came as quite a surprise for some of the fans but the Dane will have left a good impression after a delightful 20-minute cameo, replacing Antoine Griezmann upfront.
Braithwaite produced a quality cross through which Messi scored his fourth goal. Thereafter, he came up with the pass for Arthur Melo, who netted the fifth and final goal for the Blaugrana.
Barcelona leapfrog Real Madrid to the top of La Liga: Real Madrid’s shock 1-0 defeat to Levante on Saturday evening has ensured that the Blaugrana are rightfully at the top of the table with a two-point advantage.
The clubs will meet in the El Clasico at the Bernabeu next weekend and a possible victory for the Blaugrana could see them in the driving seat for the La Liga crown.
The La Liga holders have a superb record at the Bernabeu in recent years and they have failed to beat Los Blancos in just one of the previous six meetings across all competitions.