Messi really meant what he said
Lionel Messi started the season with a little speech to the Camp Nou crowd at the Joan Gamper Trophy where he promised the team would do everything they could to try and bring the Champions League back to Barcelona.
He was as good as his word on Tuesday night, as he ripped PSV apart with a hat-trick to give Barcelona the perfect start to their European campaign.
His free-kick to start the scoring was unstoppable, his second was brilliantly taken and gave the goalkeeper no chance, and he then topped it off with another superb finish for his eighth Champions League hat-trick.
Lenglet should get chance to impress against Tottenham
The only sour note for Barcelona on Tuesday was Samuel Umtiti’s sending off. The World Cup winner picked up his second yellow for blocking off Hirving Lozano and will miss next month’s trip to Wembley Stadium to take on Tottenham.
Ernesto Valverde will be forced into a change, and it’s likely that summer signing Clement Lenglet will be the man to come in and replace Umtiti.
Lenglet has yet to make a start for Barcelona this season, and Valverde could choose to give him some game time before the Spurs match. Barca play Girona, Leganes and Athletic Bilbao in La Liga before their trip to north London.
PSV may just have a say in Group B
PSV are widely regarded as being the weakest team in a tough Group B, but despite losing 4-0 in their opening game they showed they have enough to trouble Inter Milan and Spurs.
Mark van Bommel said after the game the scoreline flattered the hosts and he has a point. It took a moment of magic from Messi to open the scoring, and another from Dembele to make it 2-0 after 78 minutes. After that Barcelona coasted to victory.
PSV had their moments on the break and Lozano’s pace was evident when he blasted past Jordi Alba. Steven Bergwijn and Gaston Pereiro also had decent efforts on goal, and it will be interesting to see how they get on at home to Inter next time out.
Coutinho wil make a big difference for Barca
Philippe Coutinho made his first appearance for Barcelona in the Champions League after missing out last season following his January move from Liverpool.
It was a fine performance from the Brazilian too, as he popped up in all the right places and pinged the ball about to great effect.
He linked up well with both Ousmane Dembele and Lionel Messi, and might have had a trademark goal but for a good save from goalkeeperJeroen Zoet.
Dembele showing why Barcelona spent so big
Ousmane Dembele’s price tag seemed to weigh heavily on the youngster’s shoulders last season, as he struggled to make an impression during an injury-interrupted campaign.
Barcelona spent an initial €105 million (which could rise to €147m) on the youngster and the price tag has been used to criticise both Barcelona and the player.
However, Dembele is silencing the doubters with a brilliant start to the season, and that continued on Tuesday with another strong showing.
He won the free-kick from which Messi netted the opener with a driving run and followed that up with the goal of the night.
The dragback to take out two defenders was sublime, and he then made it count by curling a fine finish past Zoet.