- Lionel Messi and Barcelona dominated through their first game of the Champions League group stage.
- Messi netted a hat trick, including a brilliant opening goal on a free kick from about 25 yards out.
- Barcelona currently sits atop Group B and will continue Champions League play with a trip to Wembley Stadium in October to take on Tottenham.
Lionel Messi and Barcelona are off to a roaring start to Champions League play, opening the group stage with a 4-0 win over PSV Eindhoven with the help of a Messi hat trick.
Messi would start his magic early with a brilliant free kick from about 25 yards out. Messi’s strike cleared the wall and needled its way inside the near post while bending just out of reach of the opposing keeper.
— Allan Peter (@Local_Jerk) September 18, 2018
Messi wouldn’t stop there. After Dembélé doubled the Barcelona lead in the second half, Messi would put the match away with his second goal of the day, this one coming with the help of a beautiful ball from Ivan Rakitic.
Messi finished his hat trick minutes later, cleanly putting away another ball in the back of the net to complete his dominant performance.
The hot start is a welcome development for a Barcelona squad eager to lift the Champions League trophy once again after three years of dominance from Real Madrid. Other contenders – Juventus, Manchester City, Bayern Munich, and Paris Saint-Germain – all will likely figure into the final picture as the group stage brings the competition down from 32 to 16 teams over the course of the next three months.
For now, Messi and Barcelona can only take care of the opponents in front of them. Barcelona currently sits atop Group B, and will continue Champions League play on October 3 with a trip to Wembley Stadium to face Tottenham.
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