Football

Brilliant Barca 'on another planet'

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Barcelona once again showed why they are the team to beat both in Spain and across Europe with a 5-0 victory over Atletico Madrid on Saturday night.

Lionel Messi was again the star of the show for Pep Guardiola's side, taking his goal tally to eight goals in five La Liga games with a hat-trick at the Nou Camp.

David Villa had opened the scoring after seven minutes, before a Miranda own goal and Messi strike made it 3-0 in 26 minutes.

The reigning champions had to wait until 78 minutes for the Argentine playmaker to add to the scoreline, and he capped off a memorable evening in injury time with the fifth.

Chances came and went at regular intervals, with Cesc Fabregas having one of the best on 41 minutes when a glorious chip brushed the bar of keeper Thibaut Courtois.


 

The on-loan Chelsea keeper made a handful of saves to keep the scoreline at a respectable level, but the Belgian stopper was forced to admit that Barca were simply too good on the night.

"Barcelona play football from another planet. I feared for a real thrashing after their good opening, and, to be honest, it was a bit of a whipping in the end," Courtois told Sporza.

"We started the match too timidly and paid them too much respect. We should have shown a bit more flair."

On Messi, he added: "It's quite a special feeling to see him dribble in real life. He definitely is the best player in the world."

Despite the win, Barcelona sit joint-second in the league behind Real Betis, who have a game-in-hand against Getafe tonight. Real Madrid and Valencia lurk ominously one point further back.

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