The sports world has started to run out of accolades for Lionel Messi after the Argentine superstar masterminded another win for Barcelona, this time against Betis. His performance was so good that it had the opposing crowd on their feet, recognising that a great player had graced the Villamarin.
The Spanish media went one step ahead, and asked a Barcelona based physicist to analyse Messi’s magical third- a wondrous chip against Pau Lopez. The article (in Spanish) talks about the distance between the goal and Messi, the speed he hit the ball at, and the maximum height it needed to be at.
This game between Barca and Betis finished 4-1 in favour of the Catalans, and all five goals were of the highest quality. Messi’s third was the pick of the lot, but the other four were all fantastic goals in their own right.
Interestingly enough, the corresponding fixture between the two sides at the Villamarin last season had also produced five goals.
Messi started off proceedings here with a beaut of a free kick in the 18th minute after Arthur had been fouled. His second came virtually with the last kick of the first half. William Carvalho gave away possession cheaply and as Barca moved forward, Luis Suarez produced a cheeky backheel assist for the Argentine superstar to stab home.
Looking at his form in the first half, we placed a cheeky little tenner with a Coral promo code on Messi completing his hat trick after the interval. Barca’s third though came from the boot of Suarez. Carvalho was again guilty of giving away the ball and Gerard Pique sent the ball up the field to Suarez. The Uruguayan danced through the Betis defence before finishing off a fine individual goal.
Betis pulled one back through Loren Moron (yes that’s his name!)- a beautiful curled effort after Jordi Alba had slipped in the box while defending. It would’ve probably been THE goal of the afternoon, if not for what followed two minutes later. Messi completed his hat trick after exchanging passes with Ivan Rakitic and hitting a superb first time chip past Lopez.
Even by his own lofty standards, this was a class hat trick from Messi- the 51st of his chequered career with Barcelona, and the smile on his face after the strike said it all. It took a while for his third of the game (and we were slightly nervous, to be honest!), but it was worth the wait. If you haven’t seen the goals, check them out below.