Barcelona started their 2016/17 Champions League campaign in devastating fashion, dominating Celtic on the way to a fantastic 7-0 victory at Camp Nou, with six goals from the 'MSN' trio and a truly fantastic team victory. As we continue to celebrate Tuesday's spectacle, here's a few takeaways from an amazing win:
1 - The Alavés loss really was just an accident
My first comment on this column after last Saturday's game was #ItHappens. There were a lot of circumstances that led to that loss, including bad coaching, poor individual performances, a perfect game from the opponent, but that result was never any indication of what we were going to see from the Catalans. Tuesday's performance was simply perfect, and it'll be hard to replicate that all season, but the level of Barça's play will be closer to what we saw Tuesday than what we saw Saturday. When you have that much talent and such a great manager that makes mistakes but also makes the necessary corrections, you have a team capable of beating anyone by 7-0.
As for the Alavés game... Well, it happens!
2 - Neymar is finally back
We waited nine months for the Neymar that was the second best player on Earth during the calendar year 2015 to play at that same level this year. He was poor at the end of last season, but as I've said a few days ago, the summer experience in Brazil has benefited Neymar, who returned a better player and a better person to his club. His performance on Tuesday was simply breathtaking, and even though Messi had the most goals, it was Neymar who ran the show and deserves the Man of the Match award. Ney played a special match, one of his best as a Blaugrana, and if he maintains that level of play for the next several months, he'll be simply unstoppable, which will help make Barça even more unstoppable.
3 - André Gomes is a special player
I wasn't really a fan of this signing, not because of the price (I don't care about prices since we live in a crazy market and money has to be spent to sign players), but because of his fit, which I couldn't see at first hand. But a few games later, the Portuguese has proved his talent. He was superb on Tuesday, playing all three midfield positions in outstanding fashion. His poise with the ball really stands out, and the way he plays with his head high, using his size to see the whole pitch and make the best passes is amazing to watch. He was really good as Sergio Busquets' replacement when Busi went to the bench, which creates a new possibility for Luis Enrique that he might not have noticed before. Gomes, like all the other signings so far, looks like amazing business, and his quality is undeniable. He'll continue to develop and learn the Barça system as the months go on, and who knows how great he might be in the near future.