FC Barcelona continued their unbeaten form in La Liga with a 5-1 win over Alaves. Lionel Messi matched Xavi’s record of 505 La Liga appearances for the club with a brace.
Ronald Koeman fielded a rotated lineup keeping in mind the important Champions league match against PSG on Tuesday. Ilaix Moriba made his Barcelona debut and produced the assist for the first Barcelona goal.
Barcelona are unbeaten in their last 12 league games
Francisco Trincao continued his recently found goal scoring touch for Barcelona and opened the scoring in the 29th minute. Messi thought he had doubled the lead later on when knocking in on the rebound but the goal was ruled out for a marginal offside against Antoine Griezmann.
Messi eventually scored right on half-time when he picked the ball up in midfield and scored off the inner post past Alaves’ keeper. Alaves’ Luis Rioja pounced on a mistake by Ilaix to reduce the deficit in the second half
Barcelona did not allow Alaves back into the game, and killed the game with 3 goals in 6 minutes. Trincao scored his second goal after Pacheco thwarted Messi from his initial effort. Minutes later Messi made amends striking a vicious ball from about 25 yards out into the top left corner. Junior Firpo added a 5th for Barcelona in the 80th minute to complete a thrashing.
Ronald Koeman was however not pleased with the VAR decisison which chalked off Messi’s goal in the first half.
“You need a magnifying glass to see that the move is offside,” Koeman told reporters.
“I’ve seen the replay several times and for me it’s not offside. But it’s best to not speak about VAR because it’s not the referee’s fault. And in the end we won the game which is the most important thing.”
Barcelona are currently 2nd in the La Liga table but still trail league leaders Atletico by 8 points. Barcelona have a crucial fixture against PSG in the Champions league and Koeman will look for a similar performance against them.