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Three things we learned from Barcelona’s win over Espanyol

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Lionel Messi inspired a fine win

RCD Espanyol v FC Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Messi embarrasses the Ballon d’Or and Pele

Lionel Messi was in the mood on Saturday, as he destroyed Espanyol with yet another sensational display.

The Barcelona captain looked simply unstoppable every time he was on the ball. He scored two delicious free-kicks, assisted Ousmane Dembele and even managed to hit the post too.

Espanyol had absolutely no answer to Messi who was on a different level to absolutely every other player on the pitch.

RCD Espanyol v FC Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

His performance came after a week in which he finished fifth in the Ballon d’Or and had been on the end of a little dig by Brazil legend Pele.

Yet Messi responded with an almost perfect performance. Jordi Alba summed it up best after full-time, saying simply: “The Ballon d’Or is a lie.”

Dembele is becoming undroppable

Ousmane Dembele showed again he’s in the kind of form that makes him undroppable with a goal and an assist against Espanyol.

He curled home a superb finish for Barcelona’s second, and his pass then sent Luis Suarez away for their third just before half-time.

It was a brave to decision to start Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Dembele away from home against Espanyol but Ernesto Valverde was rewarded with a superb attacking display.

Dembele deserved to keep his place in the team for the match, ahead of the fit-again Philippe Coutinho, and even earned praise from Lionel Messi for his display.

Arturo Vidal is proving an excellent acquisition

RCD Espanyol v FC Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Arturo Vidal made his fifth La Liga start against Espanyol and put in another fine display in midfield for the visitors.

The Chilean has seen plenty of game time with Arthur out injured and, after a tough start to life at Barcelona, is proving to be an excellent buy.

His experience, positioning and work-rate were exactly what was required against Espanyol, and he almost added another goal to his collection too with a header.

It’s tough to see him keeping his place when Arthur does return from injury, but he’s shown he’s going to play a key role for Barcelona this season.