Barcelona continued their impressive return to form with another big win, this time against Levante in La Liga.
Things change so fast. When the new year 2015 began, Real Madrid and Barcelona were still going in two opposite directions. While Real Madrid were thinking about making new world record following their 22 consecutive wins, Barcelona were in chaos after shock defeat under David Moyes' Real Sociedad.
It was the time when Cristiano Ronaldo was scoring for fun, while Lionel Messi was involved in what the Spanish press called a scandal. The Argentinan allegedly tried to forced Luis Enrique, who he saw as a "dictator" desperately trying to control the dressing room, out of Nou Camp.
It was the time when people wondered how many more wins Real Madrid could get, and how much Barceclona would demand once they decided to sell Lionel Messi.
One and a half month later, the world reverses. Real Madrid's winning streak ended in Valencia. Then they were kicked out of Copa del Rey by Atletico Madrid, before being humiliated by Simeone and Co. again in La Liga.
Ronaldo got a red card for bad behaviour in Cordoba, banned for two matches, and has failed to add any more goal to his tally since. Gareth Bale was continuously booed by the home fans for his selfishness. And they even talked about a crisis in the dressing room of Bernabeu.
At the same time in Catalunya, Barcelona were enjoying their best days since Pep Guardiola's era. The 5-0 victory against Levante on Sunday was their 11th consecutive wins in all competition.
In La Liga, Barcelona currently sit second with just one point less than Real Madrid, and six more than Atletico. In Copa del Rey, Luis Enrique and Co. are heading to the final, after beating Villarreal 3-1 in the semi-final's first leg.
With five goals against Levante, Barcelona has now had 110 goals in 36 matches in all competitions, boasting an average of 3.05 goals per game. Real Madrid, once scoring at incredible rate, now had "only" 108 goals, despite playing two more matches.
And the best of all is the return of Lionel Messi. The best Lionel Messi! The Argentina genius apparently has managed to shrug off all of his problems to start the new year in style.
With a hat-trick against Levante, Messi sums 26 goals in La Liga, and 38 in all competitions. He is still two goals behind Ronaldo in La Liga, but is one ahead of his fiercest rival in all competitions.
More amazingly, with 14 goals and 9 assists in 11 games, Messi alone is better than Ronaldo, Benzema and Bale combined in terms of goal contribution in 2015. BBC in total have contributed just 11 goals and 6 assists since the beginning of the new year.
When Messi is happy, his attacking partners benefit the most. Neymar continued his impressive scoring record this season with one more goal against Levante. Guess who assisted him? It is, of course, Messi, with a perfect lobbing assist.
Luis Suarez found the net, too, with a perfect "scissor kick". The Uruguayan seems to have totally adapted to Spanish football and Barcelona. It is his second goal in two matches in La Liga.
Be careful, Europe. Be careful, Manchester City; Messi is back. And so are Barcelona.
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