Barcelona have won nine points from nine after a 4-0 victory over Manchester City in their high-profile Champions League matchup at Camp Nou, thanks to a hat-trick from Lionel Messi in what was a difficult game for the Blaugrana until City keeper Claudio Bravo was sent off. A win is a win, though, and here are some takeaways from what we saw on Wednesday:
1 - Barça did not play well
Let's make one thing clear: Barça won on Wednesday because of Lionel Messi and Claudio Bravo's red card. It's that simple. It wasn't a good performance by a team that imposed its style on the opponent and deservedly got a result. This 4-0 is much worse than the 4-0 against Deportivo last Saturday, although much more important. We knew playing against Pep Guardiola would be tough, but Barça were quite disappointing at times. Good thing we have the greatest player of all time, then.
2 - Samuel Umtiti is incredible
Umtiti felt the lack of matches, huh? Umtiti struggled with the intensity of the game after missing four weeks of action, right? Yeah, wrong. He absolutely destroyed City's attacks whenever they seemed promising, and his pace and strength are absolutely vital to the Blaugrana defense. He played on three different positions in the back line, and dominated all of them. Big Sammy is the best signing of the summer, without a doubt. This dude will be the best center-back in football, and it won't take long. This is not just because of the performance against City, but it's just another example of what he's done throughout the season.
By the way, French football can produce a player like Samuel Umtiti, and also a player like Jérémy Mathieu. France is weird.
3 - Sergio Busquets is back
Since his Man of the Match performance for Spain against Italy, Busi has regained his form. In a first half where the Barça midfield was dominated by City's, Sergio was the only one who stood out and did his job properly. He had to play center-back in the second half after Mathieu was sent off, and he was superb. We were really worried about Busi's form because of his first two months of the season, but the Busi we know and love is really back.