Messi nets 3 as Barcelona routs Espanyol 5-0

Messi nets 3 as Barcelona routs Espanyol 5-0

Today, in a 5-0 win over Espanyol, was the first time Los Cules looked like a title team, even if most of it was Lionel Messi taking his ability and execution up a notch, finishing with an effortless hat trick.

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde is set to rely on Dempsey on the offensive, alongside Lionel Messi and Suarez to fill the gap left by Neymar's departure to St Germain.

Messi led the way with a virtuoso performance, but his opener also needed a huge slice of luck as he was wrongly not flagged offside from Ivan Rakitic's through ball before blasting into the top corner.

He said: "We want to do something important for our people and we hope to do our best because it will be demanding".

It was then time for Dembele's triumphant arrival, with fellow new arrival Paulinho on his way shortly afterwards.

Speaking on his new signing, Valverde said: "Dembele has been getting better every day, [but] he is a very young 20-year-old kid". "We have big expectations for him".

Barcelona made all the early running but suffered a scare in the 21st minute when Sergio Busquets booked for cynically pulling back Leo Baptistao after his misplaced pass threatened to give the Espanyol forward a route to goal.

Next up is Juventus in a Champions League group game in midweek.

Sevilla moved up to second, just two points behind the leaders, as goals from Paulo Henrique Ganso, Wissam Ben Yedder and Nolito secured a 3-0 win over Eibar. Wood wins it for Burnley Burnley's Chris Wood scored on his home debut as Crystal Palace suff ered a fourth straight loss with a 1-0 defeat at Turf Moor on Sunday which will increase the pressure on their Dutch manager Frank De Boer. In the fi nal stages, Scott Dann missed a golden chance, heading wide from three metres.