Messi nets 3 as Barcelona routs Espanyol 5-0

TEAM NEWS Suarez back as Dembele benched for Barca

Barcelona are the only side in La Liga to have taken maximum points from the three games played and the team are yet to concede a goal.

Messi set Barca on their way with the opening goal after 26 minutes, although he looked to have been offside when collecting a pass from Ivan Rakitic before sidestepping his marker and lashing the ball into the top corner. Alba cut the ball back and Messi was in the right place to stab it wide of goalkeeper Pau Lopez.

Barcelona striker Luis Suarez says that it is a "privilege" to play alongside Lionel Messi, who he regards as the best player in world football.

Los Blancos were the dominant side through the game, but they were reduced to 10 men late in the second half when Marcelo was shown a straight red card for kicking out.

The Argentina forward completed his 38th Barcelona hat-trick when he finished off from another Alba cross.




Barcelona made all the early running but suffered a scare in the 21st minute when Sergio Busquets booked for cynically pulling back Leo Baptistao after his misplaced pass threatened to give the Espanyol forward a route to goal.

However, even a fine display didn't dissuade the bad feeling towards Barca's under-fire board after a chaotic summer in the transfer market and splits between the boardroom and the dressing room, with Messi and Andres Iniesta yet to sign extensions to their contracts which expire in 2018. Both Madrid teams have five points.

"We can't be happy with our performance", said Real manager Zinedine Zidane.

He said: "We want to do something important for our people and we hope to do our best because it will be demanding". "We keep saying this day after day, game after game".

The hosts were dealt another blow midway through the first half as Karim Benzema limped off. They've now lost four points in a title race that's always about being extremely uncharitable when it comes to giving away points to the minnows of La Liga, which is pretty much everyone except for Real, the current Spanish and European champions, and Barcelona.

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