MESSI hat trick on Derbi Barceloní against Espanyol


Lionel MESSI returned to his routine for Barcelona when they took on Espanyol at the Camp Nou.

Following Real Madrid dropping points in their earlier match, MESSI and Barça ensured not to slip up as they ran rampage against their Catalan rivals. MESSI first opened his account on the night in the 26th minute when he picked the ball up from Ivan RAKITIC in the penalty area, then proceeded to sidestep Diego LOPEZ before blasting it into the top corner. The goal stood despite there being a call for offside.

He then doubled Barça’s lead in the 35th minute, after Jordi ALBA made a cut pass in which MESSI sloted it in passed the goalkeeper. Espanyol nearly closed the deficit back to one goal just before half time when Pablo PIATTI saw his effort crash the far goal post. The diminutive number 10 completed his hat trick in the 67th minute, with ALBA again being again the provider with a cut back pass in which MESSI calmly fired the ball into the bottom corner of the goal. This was his first hat trick in 554 days dating back to March 2016 against Rayo Vallecano.

Gerrard PIQUE and Luis SUAREZ completed Espanyol’s misery of the night with a goal each as Barcelona surged to the top of La Liga with a 5-0 win.


  1. I just hope Sampaoli has learned a lot from these 2 matches. He needs to be understand that playing with wingers will require him to have 2 strong mobile ballplaying central midfielders. I think it can work if he plays Paredes and Pizzaro as the 2 CMs, since they can both push the ball forward on their own. If instructed to do more to box to box runs or support. But for now, its better to play without conventional wingers since there are really no right players for those roles now. Otherwise, one player that can help Messi in midfield a lot is Manuel Lanzini, if he is fit. His work rate, movement and ability might be the missing link that Banega will never provide.

    • @sabellista .i agree whith you right there,just the problem for me is who is going to play in his place when he gets injured,because we all know he can’t handle 2-3 games in a row. I have noticed people here have theirs midfielders play or not play in the nt games (mine is parades)but all of them play like there is no gravity on the pitch,it’s going to take time to build a team that other teams fear.

  2. I don’t want to talk about what was wrong in the last two games, neither to sound like I’m defending Sampaoli. But, In the last 11 years, the only Arg manager (and we changed 8 of them through that course of time) who made two wins out of his first two matches in South America World Cup Qualifiers was Alfio Basile (as per transfermarkt stats). But, he was in charge more than a year before the qualifiers started. On the other hand, Tata Martino was hired also a year before, but then lost the first game of qualifiers, and draw the second one. Didn’t even score a goal. So, this competition is really, really hard and unpredictable. Sampaoli with Chile also didn’t have a perfect start in his first two matches of qualifiers (lost to Peru, and won against Uruguay).

  3. “Unlike us though, Spain has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to midfield, Isco, Silva, Koke, Thiago, Busquets, Asensio, Saul, etc. Never ending supply of good midfielders. We are lacking in that regard.”
    Absolutely spot on. We are producing some good ST (well for club at least) but we are lacking on decent attacking midfielder.

  4. Sometimes I wonder how can love for Albiceleste make a football fan so irrational.
    If I remember well, the best Argentine attack (after2006/07) happened during WCQ2014, and we were always doing high tempo counter attacking under Sabella. Unfortunately the fab four were all carrying injuries or got injured during WC and Sabella couldnt do that anymore. Messi scored 12 in a year during that campaign. Since that campaign, he had to take care of both midfield and attack of the team, but not just that, his Albiceleste team mates have nearly forgot the thing about off the ball runs. Almost all in the team stands still when Messi has the run.
    The Espanyol match on Saturday, Barca nearly played like Pep’s 08/09 team. Iniesta was subdued but Busi and Rakitic was immense, plus two brilliant fullbacks making marauding runs. The whole team worked like a family and Messi didnt had to come to the Ccircle fetching for the ball, which happened a lot during LE’s last 2 seasons. Add to the factor of absence of Neymar who wastes lot of balls and time, Messi is receiving ball a lot in the final third.
    All what Argentina need is a good central midfielder who can pass forward. Can anyone remember the last time Messi received the ball in or around the box, like the one he got from Rakitic(even in off side position)? Messi is the one who makes such through balls for Argentina, all of which are wasted. Even in the Venezuela match he made 2 or 3, if I remember well.

    Some one made a good point on the Guardian pages. Barca is back to the case of the whole team trying to support Messi as he wants, and they look like the Pep’s team who is playing with a smile, all thanks to the absence of Neymar.

    It is perplexing to see Messi being blamed for everything. what the hell are the other 10 doing in the team then?

  5. Hello Mundo,

    Sore throat and frustration has been accompanying me, since I turned my eyes on Sky Blue & White.

    Almost all the selected forwards by Sampa, scored for their clubs right after an anxious week of National Duty.

    Well, lets make it clear Here. Though Sampa is getting the support of everyone here and there’s no doubt he is a good coach or at least better than his recent predecessors, he is responsible of wasting the 4 points by being out coached in both matches, specially against Venezuela!

    The formation he’s trying implement isn’t effective at all and he doesn’t have the right players for it. What it actually did, was weakening the midfield and putting heavier burden on Messi’s shoulder (as usual)!

    If we look at Pekerman’s formation in 2006, were we played few of our most impressive matches as a team, it was a 4, 4, 2. With depth in midfield and defense and a classic enganche supplying the strikers. Who’s better than Messi Here!!!
    This could be an option for Sampa to strengthen the midfield if Messi is dropping back in all cases to create chances.

    One other option, would be as Sabella and Ancelotti used to do by getting the best out of Di Maria! Yes, (Di Maria) is the second to none when you get the best out of him and how is that! Simply by use him as midfielder like Sabella did with the fantastic 4, so as Ancelotti, when he made the man the best performer of his squad. This is what I have been observing from Angel, put him in the midfield, he becomes a creative team player, push him to the flanks, you get a selfish headless chicken!

    To support my thoughts, I would go with the following possible line ups (IMHO):


    ———-Mercado———-Otamendi——–Masche/ Whoever fits———–Acuna–


    ———————Paredes———————–Di Maria———————-


    Or 4, 4, 2:

    Same Backline——————————————————————–


    ———————-Paredes————————Di Maria/ Banega————




    Or any one who’s in form to fit the previous formations!

    • One other option, would be as Sabella and Ancelotti used to do by getting the best out of Di Maria! Yes, (Di Maria) is the second to none when you get the best out of him and how is that! Simply by use him as midfielder like Sabella did with the fantastic 4, so as Ancelotti, when he made the man the best performer of his squad. This is what I have been observing from Angel, put him in the midfield, he becomes a creative team player, push him to the flanks, you get a selfish headless chicken!

      Exactly my thoughts at the moment. I’m with you on there. I also said this in one of my posts.

  6. So many players are playing out of position.back 3 with no wing backs looks terrible.its better to use 3 central midfielders than 2 with 2 half backs.if dybala is starting he will be used as a second striker in a 4-3-1-2 or 4-4-2 in the absence of good wingbacks.
    Mercado otamendi pareja
    ……Paredes augusto
    Salvio/correa banega gomez/acuna
    Mercado macherano otamendi pinola
    Paredes banega
    Messi. Gomez
    Dybala. Icardi
    I really love to see paredes in the middle because of his vision and his ball playing abilities…

  7. At the risk of beating the dead horse again, I’m wondering when was the last time someone assisted Messi in the National Team? Where are our other playmakers? Banega – mediocre or lukewarm at best, Di Maria – either pathetic or injured, Pastore – horrendous in the last game. Midfield is everything in football. Until we find solutions there, Messi will be dropping deep and trying to do it all by himself over and over again. This has been predictable and one-dimensional. Opponents have figured us out…

    • Enganche: agreed with you on “the middle” and the same old faces are not cutting it despite many chances over the years and as ive said before this blame falls directly to tata and bozo who failed to integrate youth and promising talent into the team over the last few years..n.b also some blame to the Afa for insisting on their high profile friendlies and the lack of any interest into he youth system until samp took over.

      i feel all we can hope for is we do make it to the w.c and that will give us (i hope) some thing that samp has not had is time to try to construct a team in the middle, im not how samp will do this as he cant work miracles.

      as many have said before all great teams come to any end and the beginning of the end was the end of the 14 w/c final but no action was taken to rejuvenate the team with fresh faces, talent and ideas, 15 and 16 and still little to no action is taken.
      we remind me of Spain and look at them after they won every thing, they became complacent until the 14 w/c humiliation, after 14 w/c they started every thing again culling some names and keeping others, bringing in youth, new ideas etc and its taken 3-4 years for them but the old spain are close to being back.

      we may have to accept exactly the same type of time line spain had to go through and unless we get a lot of very over dew luck (we do deserve some luck) winning in russia will be quite a task but 2022 may be a realistic w.c winning target not 2018, yep that suks a lot but we can only blame our past managers and of course the afa for the mess we are today.

      • Agreed Pablo. Unlike us though, Spain has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to midfield, Isco, Silva, Koke, Thiago, Busquets, Asensio, Saul, etc. Never ending supply of good midfielders. We are lacking in that regard.

        • so true but if you look at 4 years ago after 14 w/c spain did not have all of that talent but now that do big time.

          i guess we will have to wait to see what happens with the potentially rejuvenated youth set up and samp in charge for a good period of time allowing both his tactics, players and vision a good chance and who knows what could be in 3-4 years, what names may step forward but like you atm it looks very grim in the midfield department.

  8. “The local based players will miss 2 league matches but it’s an attempt to help the National Team qualify for the World Cup”

    This is good and this in the good old days use to happen all of the time as the n/t would play midweek games vs boca or river to prepare for the w/c games but sadly, as so many of our players are plying their trade over seas this no longer happens as its just not possible logistic wise to do and the loser is the n.t as our players spend less and less time together before n/t games and it shows on the field at times.

  9. Peru appeal against playing at Boca. Hahaha. I don’t see the fudge about it,let them come anywhere. But one thing for sure this issue took all the attention from players. Stupid fans and media are busy with that topic more often now

  10. This guy is becoming another Ageuro and Higuain… he can only score against the smalls clubs and when it comes to international matches he can’t even take a proper free kick.. i think his winning trophy days are long over.. he is mentally weak… His buddy Mascherano and him ran a mafia in the team and cost us 2 copas and now because of the same syndicate they are struggling to qualify for the world cup let alone win it!!

  11. If Argentina concentrate on high tempo penetration and directness, meaning getting ball behind defense quickly without emphasis on possession, it will be an easy match. But if the emphasis is on ball possession domination and attempting to score from crosses, then we’re in for more frustrations.

    • Sabellista, that won’t happen with Messi in the team, as soon as Messi get the ball all the momentum of the move slow down, then Argentina have to start all over again with possession trying to break down the opponent. When was the last time Argentina scored an insane counter attacking goal? Instead of Messi getting the ball in midfield he should stay in a false nine position for majority of the game, let Higuaín drop in midfield sometimes like he does for Juventus and move the ball around from left to right or forward pass. Banega can also help in midfield. All the Peruvian players are coming to mark Messi even the Peruvian ball boys, Sampaoli need to plan for this, and figure out the best way on how to use Messi more effective without him being block and crowded out in midfield by the opponent. Messi is the greatest goal scorer of all time so he should stay close to goal even if he is not getting plenty of service because at the end of the day Messi is the only one who can turn a half chance or a not so good chance into a goal. The obsession about Messi getting plenty of touch on the ball in the middle of the park is not a good strategy. Every team come with the same strategy yet the Argentina coaches can never figure out a workable solution. ”Stop Messi and you stop Argentina from winning,” if Sampaoli doesn’t fix this we wont improve as a team.

      • Kid
        I agree on your point that Messi has to be around the box to make those half chances into a goal. But with all respect i disagree on that Messi slow down the attack. Not a long ago Sabella fab4 was quick like Flash in counter attack. So far from Sampaoli system my opinion is Messi-Dybala on middle far away from goals not working. It might work but not in short time and for big results. If he wanna play both than he should start Messi on right like Martino and Dybala on middle in my opinion and left side for a balance players who attack and also defend for team. To me so far Dybala and Messi looked confuse most of the time. Peru already planning to take out Messi with their 2/3 players. So Sampaoli better comes with something good.

      • Kid, your theory is not accurate. Messi is most effective with high tempo football.
        At Barca, most MSN goals were scored with either counters and quick direct play. Most plays were either orchastrated or finished off by Leo. It was the same with Sabella times.
        Ever since Argentina started to use wingers instead of compact midfield with overlapping fullbacks, Messi’s game has suffered a lot. Under Sabella, DiMaria was playing as LM not as a LW, was one ofor the reasons why Messi was at his best for the NT. That’s where DiMaria is most effective, he was always bringing the ball quickly to Messi or the other 2 attackers upfront while the defense was not in shape. At PSG DiMaria plays as midfielder and not as a winger. He is a much better playmaker than useless Banega who really offers nothing going forward.

      • “as soon as Messi get the ball all the momentum of the move slow down, then Argentina have to start all over again with possession trying to break down the opponent. When was the last time Argentina scored an insane counter attacking goal? Instead of Messi getting the ball in midfield he should stay in a false nine position for majority of the game”.

        THat’s true. But IMO Messi is slowing down the tempo by his driblings. Even best dribling can’t replace quick, one touch passing, bringing the ball from midfield to attack.

        • There are 2 ways to make our team reborn:

          1. Keep Messi high, on the top and let the rest of players to take initiative

          2. Wait till Messi is retired

      • What’s wrong with Acuna? HE was better than Di Maria on the 2 matches overall while just start with NT.

        And people exagerrate with critic of Acosta. In first half he was one of 2 our most active players. Actually he has played as Di Maria. Active, with heart but ineffective. In defence both Acuna and Acosta were supporting defenders so it’s a myth only Di Maria can do that.

  12. Dybala with Juventus in three games = 5 goals

    Messi with Barca in three games= 5 goals

    Icardi with Inter in three games= 5 goals

    All of them in two matches with the N.T = ZERO goals

  13. —-Icardi——Higuain


    Di Maria/Perotti—–Banega–Pizzaro



    Two games have already tell us that Dybala is not ready to start, he should be a super sub. Dybala should come off the bench when the Peruvians are tired. Dybala need more time to gel with Messi and now is not the time for experiment. If Di Maria is still injured, then bring in Perotti. Please, no more Acuna and Acosta, these are the type of players that signal a mediocre team. Salvio will be back by the time the last two rounds of CONMEBOL games come around. Hopefully Rojo can make the next rounds of games, if not, then try Pinola at LB.

    • This guy higuain is a nothing but cancer… him along with aguero,dimaria and macherano should be kept away from the team… and messi should’s be allowed to try to dribble pass 10 plyers.. his best days are long gone..

      • ”cancer” that bring us to a world cup final? This is the problem with the current Argentina fans especially the ones from Argentina. And you wonder why the players always look so depress when they represent Argentina. The players look happy for their clubs because they’re always love and appreciate compare to the Argentina national team. Argentina soccer fans are overrated, I use to think Argentina has the best supporters but all they do is put down the players. The supporters at the Estadio Monumental were meh for the entire game against Venezuela.


    You’re are driving yourself insane with all these stories and predications, STOP it…whatever is going to happen WILL Happen no matter what you and I think or want to happen.

    I can understand if we were playing in Peru, but its the other way around and have some faith and if these players are not able to handle the pressure and man up to their National duties then maybe they don’t deserve to play in the WC.

    POINT IS, ARGENTINA knows what is at stake here and will no doubt do whatever they need to do to win and advance.

  15. The reason it worked for Messi yesterday is Jordi Alba or the full backs. That is the main difference between with NT.

    Sampaoli will eventually set it up with a proper team. Question is whether we will qualify or not.

    • Someone on this forum predicted Messi, Dybala, Icardi and Aguero would all score during the weekend. And he was right… Even Higuain scored. Grrr.

      I wish Sampaoli had all the players at his disposal a week early, but we can forget about them unless he does something really radical like playing the entire Boca team and replace the foreigners with players from the NT squad that played last week.

      • As I said before, all admiration for feats of our european strikers and all our attack virtual potentiall comes to nothing. It’s our fetish for years – galaxy of top goalscorers every league in Europe. The more we are concentrated no them, the more they seems to fail our expectations.

        Match against Peru is not going to be of technical skills players hence Sampaoli is thinking about some warriors of Boca like Pablo Perez. He is technical player but firstly swashbuckler and maybe kind of missing link between midfield and attack. The game is not going to be one where Icardi or Dybala would be visible unless we score early goals and Peru will have to score. We need early goal but it demands skills, tactic and in addition first of all luck. Luck, luck, luck. Samapoli is still looking for new solutions, still flowing- minded to react for what he saw in last match. I can’t understand why he lay off some players without honest trial though I appreciate his energy for looking new options.

        Dybala and Icardi still are beginerrs and they should be treated as such but I would not surprised if Sampaoli tried with other formations and names in attack than it was last matches.

      • Actually replacing these loosers with entire boca team would be better as.. the so called our senior players are weak mentally and they might have another break down due to high pressure against peru

  16. The peru coach Garcia will be using Velet trainING facilities from 25th Sept. The local peru clubs agree to release players early..only European players will join later..peru is in the brink of history in 36 everyone is trying to help the team

    • Raaaa…damn it
      6 games to go for clubs i think. I hope there are no injury. And so far from Argentine league they will moan even realise their players on time than after the game will criticise about whole lot of things. Looks like Peru coming with everything. I hope Sampaoli team watching that and also watching his strikers are scoring goal from left and right and middle. I have to admit Peru preparation scaring me now a little bit to be honest

      • I heard some important Peru players are suspended for Argentina match you know are they and they are really important or not.

        Next 3 weeks are very vital for Arge8and the coaching staff should be in touch with key payers regularly and prepare for the match..Argentina also needs to show urgency..

        • Yeah few of them are suspended. Like everyone here said before all those plan and training could be in water for Peru if we can score a early goal and from that i don’t think they will get back

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