Barcelona 4-0 Sevilla: Messi bags his first goal of the season

Barcelona 4-0 Sevilla: Lionel Messi bags his first goal of the season as Luis Suarez scores acrobatic bicycle kick

  • Luis Suarez opened the scoring on Sunday night with an acrobatic bicycle kick 
  • Arturo Vidal and Ousmane Dembele scored before half-time to increase lead 
  • Lionel Messi then hit his first goal of the season with a brilliant free-kick
  • There was late drama as Ronald Araujo and Ousmane Dembele were sent off 

He can still do it, just in case anyone was beginning to wonder.

Lionel Messi scored his first free-kick of the season – the fourth goal in a masterful demolition of Sevilla — who were in the game until the 27th minute when they conceded three times in eight minutes.

Messi had floated a few free-kicks harmlessly over, or into the arms of waiting goalkeepers in what little football he had played so far this season but with 12 minutes left he stepped up for a set-piece on the edge of the Sevilla area. 

Lionel Messi scored his first goal of the season as Barcelona eased to a win against Sevilla

He whipped a free-kick above the wall in the latter stages of Sunday’s clash to score

It was close but not so close that he could not get it up and over Tomas Vaclik and under the crossbar. He turned away to punch his fist into the night sky. His first goal of the season has come late this season.

Chaos followed late on when Barcelona substitute Ronald Araujo was sent off on his debut for what looked an innocuous challenge on Javier Hernandez as they were running through towards the Barcelona goal shoulder to shoulder.

Ousmane Dembele followed him down the tunnel picking up a straight red. Referee Mateu Lahoz had interpreted that Dembele had deliberate knocked the spray out of his hand. It looked accidental but if it is interpreted as deliberate he could now miss the Clasico.

‘How bad you are,’ sung the Barcelona supporters at the match official who has a well-earned reputation in Spain for always wanting to be the main event, even in the company of great players.

Luis Suarez scored a sensational overhead kick to give Barcelona the lead on Sunday night

The forward runs off to celebrate his 27th minute goal against Sevilla in La Liga

Midfielder Arturo Vidal pokes home after getting on the end of a ball into the box

Before the late flurry of cards came the goals. Luis Suarez shoulder-barged the floodgates open on 27 minutes by acrobatically dispatching Nelson Semedo’s cross from the left after the full-back, Frenkie De Jong and Ousmane Dembele had ganged-up on Jesus Navas. The cross was good — the scissor-kick finish even better.

Navas was suffering again on 32 minutes when Barcelona cracked Sevilla’s tentative offside trap. Semedo, Arthur Melo and Suarez played a clever triangle of passes. And from the Uruguayan’s lay-off Arthur’s cross-shot was turned in by Arturo Vidal. First to rush out towards the match official with his hand up was Navas but it had been the right-back who had been playing the goal-scorer onside.

Goal three came just three minutes later when Fernando was robbed in midfield and the ball ran to Dembele he dropped his shoulder to send Diego Carlos skidding out of frame and sent a right foot shot past Vaclik. You don’t always get the poetry and the motion from the inconsistent former Dortmund winger but when you do it is something to behold.

Sevilla had played well for the first hour and Luuk de Jong might have scored a hat-trick and yet somehow they had gone three behind in the space of eight minutes. The striker position is proving problematic for them.

The Barcelona players surround Vidal after he doubled their advantage against Sevilla

Ousmane Dembele then struck in the 35th minute of the game to triple their lead

The winger raises a fist in celebration as his side ran rampant in Sunday night’s game

De Jong had been denied by Marc-Andre ter Stegen and had headed two chances wide of the target – the first tamely wide and the second into the ground and over the bar.

The difference in finishing between Suarez and De Jong had been the catalyst for such an emphatic half-time score. Julen Lopetegui lost 5-1 the last time he was here and then lost his job as Real Madrid manager.

This was turning into another nightmare. He had also been booked in the first half. He made two changes at the break bringing on Munir El Haddadi and Joan Jordan for Oliver Torres and Nolito.

There was some resistance with Sergio Reguilon’s long run forward deserving better from Lucas Ocampos. The Argentinian forward failed to test Ter Stegen with his shot instead of playing it back to the Real Madrid loanee full-back.

There was no mercy from Messi and when he cut through Sevilla’s defence moments later on Vaclik’s saved stopped it from ending in in the fourth goal.

Lionel Messi impressed as he continues his comeback from an injury hit start to the season

The Argentine forward lines up a free-kick in front of the spectators at the Nou Camp

Ernesto Valverde watches on as his side storm to victory on Sunday night at the Nou Camp

Dembele was next to go close. Close maybe not the most appropriate word. He was certainly close to goal but from just in front of the penalty spot he put the ball a long way over the bar.

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde brought both Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic on, and with Antoine Griezmann watching from the bench he then turned to Araujo to replace the tiring Jean-Clair Todibo.

Griezmann’s time will surely come this season but as he was warned over a year ago when he first considered the the move to the Camp Nou – if you go to Barca you’ll just be another one of the players.

With ten minutes left Messi scored his free-kick and it was four. Then came the cards and the chaos.

It was another big defeat for Lopetegui in the Camp Nou. He will not be sacked for this one. He, like the rest of La Liga, will be just left to fear the worst that Barcelona and Messi are getting back to their best. 

Messi admires his free-kick as it flies over the Sevilla wall and into the back of the net

Referee Mateu Lahoz sent off two Barcelona players during the closing stages of the game

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