Lionel Messi equalled Xavi’s record of 767 Barcelona appearances on Monday night and joined Antoine Griezmann and Oscar Mingueza on the scoresheet with a brace to secure a comfortable 4-1 victory against Huesca at Camp Nou.
Ronald Koeman’s side dominated play from the get go and found the breakthrough within just 13 minutes. Messi marked his special day by taking Sergio Busquets’ pass in his stride, before knocking the ball to his left and unleashing a beautiful effort into the net via the underside of the bar.
Griezmann then doubled the hosts’ advantage on 36 minutes, picking the ball up about 30 yards from goal and sublimely curling it into Alvaro Fernandez’s top corner.
Huesca showed spirit, however, and got back into he game on the stroke of half time. A quick counter attack ended in what looked like a foul on Rafa Mir in the box, and after a long VAR check which showed that there was very little contact, the penalty was awarded and subsequently converted coolly by the on-loan Wolves man.
La Blaugrana started the second period very well, though, and restored the two goal cushion after 53 minutes when a Messi cross found the head of Mingueza, who emphatically nodded in for his first Barcelona goal. Messi (who else?) then put the game beyond any doubt with another lovely strike, this time finding the bottom corner from 25 yards out to make it 4-1 in the 90th minute. The win moves Barça up to second and cuts Atletico Madrid’s lead at La Liga’s summit to just four points.
Now, let’s get to the Barcelona player ratings…