I wasn't experiencing a form crisis, says Messi
Lionel Messi hit a hat-trick as Barcelona beat Mallorca 5-0 on Saturday. Goals from twenty-year-old Isaac Cuenca and Dani Alves rounded the night off for a dominant Barca in a one sided game.
Hat-trick hero: Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring a
goal during their Spanish League football match against Mallorca FC
on Saturday. Pic/AFP
The Catalans started without key midfielders Cesc Fabregas, Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta or Pedro Rodriguez, giving Mallorca initial hope of taking something from the game.
All that was proven in the end was Barca's strength in depth and that a long line of youth players await their chance with the current Spanish and European champions.
It was Mallorca who had the first clear chance when midfielder Joao Victor missed from close range on six minutes. It was to be their last attack of the game and within 30 minutes Messi had hit his hat-trick to kill off the Balearic challenge.
The Argentine only had to wait 12 minutes for the chance to redeem himself from the penalty spot, in front of the same Nou Camp crowd that saw him miss a crucial penalty with the last kick of the game against Sevilla seven days ago.
It was Messi himself who played a long crossfield pass to Adriano in the Mallorca area, when the Brzilian headed the ball back it struck an unfortunate Emilio Nsue on the arm, leaving Messi to fire home from the spot.
The second came in 21 minutes when Cuenca, starting his first game in the Nou Camp, crossed from the right and Adriano played in Messi for a simple right-footed finish.
Eight minutes later Dani Alves crossed from the right to find Messi making a clever run behind the Mallorca defence and again one touch was all the Argentinian needed, this time with his left foot, to steer the ball home.
"The team played well again," Messi told Gol TV after the game. "We got quick goals and in the first half, the result was nearly confirmed. We have to continue this way.
"It's crazy to say that after three games (without a goal) I was in crisis. I do not care whether I score or not, what matters is that the team win and continue to do so," he said.
Also on Saturday Real Madrid won 1-0 away at a competitive Real Sociedad, with an important goal from Gonzalo Higuain.