Messi scores four against Eibar
Lionel Messi scored four goals to help Barcelona to a 6-1 victory over Eibar at Nou Camp.
The Argentine has been in sensational form this season scoring a hat-trick in last week’s match and now a super hat-trick. He has racked up an impressive 9 goals already in La Liga and 12 goals in total this season. It seems with the departure of Neymar, both Barcelona and Messi have stepped up a notch. The likely reason for this incredible form could be the introduction of Paulinho who scored on debut last week and also scored in today’s match. He has teamed up well with Messi and provided a number of clever plays that the Argentine has taken full advantage of. Paulinho brings a different dynamic to Barcelona, that of physicality in the midfield combined with Brazilian flare which Neymar previously provided.
Meanwhile Messi’s statistical rival Cristiano Ronaldo has scored only 3 goals in total this season with 0 in La Liga. To be fair to Ronaldo, he hasn’t played in all matches this season like Messi but the Real Madrid forward will need to step up big time if he wants to catch Messi and win this season’s Pichichi Trophy.
Messi’s incredible goal tally this season can also be explained to some degree by the absence of Neymar or one less prolific striker to compete with., But Ernesto Valverde also dropped Luis Suarez to the bench in a notable move, perhaps a reaction to his many errors in his last match. So, rather than the three prolific goal scorers, Barcelona had one with a fantastic array of support players feeding him the ball. It resembled the Barcelona of 2012 when Messi broke the record for most goals in a calendar year with a massive 96 goals that season including 50 goals in La Liga. Could Messi beat his 2012 record in 2017? We will see. Denis Suarez also scored a fine goal during the match showing his class as a forward in Luis Suarez’s absence.