Barcelona have now reached 30 straight matches without a loss after trouncing Celta Vigo 6-1 at Camp Nou on Sunday night. While we're still in awe with the second half performance by the Blaugrana, it's time to reflect on a few lessons learned from a fantastic win.
1. Lionel Messi is (really) back
Sure, Messi has been great since returning from injury, but for some reason (unknown for a while) the Argentine just didn't look like himself for a consistent period. He was still able to score goals and be the best player in La Liga for the month of January, which just shows how incredible Leo is, even not at full power. But then we learned that his kidney issues still existed. He finally cleared all of that up, and came back fresh for the game against Celta. And we saw a Messi we didn't see all season.
He was simply incredible for the entire 90 minutes, all over the pitch passing the ball, creating chances for his teammates, scoring a ridiculous free-kick and showcasing skills like we haven't seen in a while. Again, it's not like Messi was bad since returning from injury, but the Real Leo came back last night. If Real Leo is still around for the rest of the season, it is a scary sight.
2. Luis Enrique is a halftime wizard
Sunday was not the first time this season the Blaugranes had a subpar first half with an overall bad collective game. And then, the players go to the dressing room, spend fifteen minutes with the coach, and come back a completely different team. It is not coincidental that the coach's talk changes the player's attitude. They can't do it themselves, especially after playing badly for 45 minutes.
Enrique continues to impress with every game, not only changing the tactical approach if things aren't going well, but also urging his players to improve their mentality and come back with more intensity and will to win. Again, the team is amazing, but they're not unbeaten for 30 games without some contribution for the coach. Eat it, haters. If you're still hating.
3. La Liga is still not over
Yes, it's very cliché to say this, but it's the honest truth. Real Madrid have shown a lot of improvement in the young Zinedine Zidane era, at least in home games. Atlético Madrid will never go away, and there are 15 games to go for the Blaugrana. They have a game in hand against Sporting Gijón in a few days, and a victory is fundamental to open up a giant gap in the title race. But it's still February, the Champions League knockout rounds are coming, and they could play a part in a slight domestic drop-off from the league leaders. The Catalans are in great position to take the trophy, but there's no reason to believe the trophy is already in their hands. Football is insane.