Valverde went all-praise for Lionel Messi to the press after the Eibar game
Barcelona continued their win streak as they thrashed Eibar 6-1 recording their 6th consecutive La Liga win, remaining still unbeaten in domestic and European competitions this season. Lionel Messi was the star of the match with 4 goals followed by Paulinho who silenced his critics with a goal and an assist. Another came from Denis Suarez who scored in back to back matches.
What seems to be a one sided game when seen on scoreboard has been a tough match in reality.The first half saw the visitors control and attack quiet often as Barcelona lost possession and miss passed a lot of time with 72.6% pass accuracy, quite an uncharacteristic stat for the Catalan giants. It was almost an end to end game.
The deadlock was ended when Semedo made a run in Eibar’s penalty box only to be pushed and fouled.Messi utilised it giving Barcelona the first goal of the night.Paulinho yet again won hearts with a brilliant header from a corner and using his physicality.Messi made a solo dribble before shooting the ball that got deflected by the keeper and Denis Suarez finished beautifully sending the ball through the gap between the goalkeeper and bar.
Enrich’s goal in 57th minute was in vain as Messi replied back with 3 more goals, one with a brilliant first touch and the other two making intelligent passing between team mates involving one two passes.
Valverde sung Messi’s praises once more after watching Barca go five points clear at the top.
“He is the most intelligent player that I have ever seen on a football pitch,” he told in the post-match press-conference.
“You don’t know how, but he just appears. He’s extraordinary. There are no words.”
Messi’s form playing false 9 will be interesting to watch as he is showing fine form.The coach made just the right number of changes and the players he brought in looked fresh and hungry to impress namely Semedo, Paulinho and Denis. The coach will hope he can continue to strike the right balance as the season progresses.