Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick as Barcelona began their quest for a sixth European Cup with a 4-0 victory over PSV in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Three goals in seven second-half minutes made sure of the win and top spot in Group B for Barca, although Samuel Umtiti took the gloss off the result with a late red card.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen kept goal for a full-strength Blaugrana, with Sergi Roberto over Nelson Semedo at right-back, joined by Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti and Jordi Alba. In midfield, Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets were complemented by Philippe Coutinho, while Messi, Luis Suarez and Dembele picked themselves in a front three.
PSV, for their part, were unchanged from the side who thrashed ADO Den Haag 7-0 at the weekend, Marc van Bommel’s XI including Spanish left-back Angelino and Mexico forward Hirving Lovano, who had been linked with the Catalans, as well as Real Madrid and Atletico.
The Dutch champions sent Barca two warning shots early on as Gaston Pereiro fired just over from the edge of the box and Steven Bergwijn’s curler flew the wrong side of Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s far post.
That seemed to click the Blaugrana into gear, and although Messi could only find the side-netting from a through ball, his free kick found Jeroen Zoet’s top-right corner.
Suarez’s audacious lob clipped the crossbar, but while Dembele went one better, turning two PSV players inside out, before delightfully curling into Zoet’s bottom right.
The visitors threatened through Lozano, but a last-ditch Gerard Pique block and the offside flag prevented him from pulling a goal back.
Instead, it was left to Messi to finish off Ivan Rakitic’s chipped ball first time and then pick his spot across Zoet, although Barca ended the game with 10 men after Umtiti saw a second yellow card for charging into Lozano.
Barcelona 4-0 PSV
Messi 31, 77, 84, Dembele 74, Umtiti sent off 79
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; Rakitic (Arturo Vidal 85), Busquets, Coutinho (Lenglet 81); Messi, Suarez, Dembele (Arthur 83)
PSV: Dumfries, Schwaab, Viergever (Isimat-Mirin 66), Angelino; Rosario (Gutierrez 82), Hendrix, Pereiro; Bergwijn (Malen 78), De Jong, Lozano
Referee: Sidiropoulous (GRE)