Lionel Messi scored four goals as Barcelona demolished Eibar 6-1 on Tuesday for their fifth straight win in La Liga.
Paulinho and Denis Suarez also got on the scoresheet for the second game running to maintain Barca's 100 percent start to the season in style, although the woodwork denied Eibar twice.
The Brazilian was rewarded for his winner against Getafe over the weekend with a first start for Barca, as was fellow goalscorer Denis. Luis Suarez, however, dropped to the substitutes' bench.
Eibar, meanwhile, had lost all six of their previous meetings with the Blaugrana, scoring just three goals in that time, although they opened the campaign with two wins in four matches.
Just three minutes in and Marc-Andre ter Stegen already had to keep out a one-on-one with Sergi Enrich.
Barca’s rotations seemed to be holding them back at first, but they soon clicked and Nelson Semedo was barged off the ball by Alejandro Galvez in the box, allowing Messi to curl the resulting spot-kick past Marko Dmitrovic.
The No 10 then bent a shot on target from Eibar’s D, but Dmitrovic flew over to his right to keep it out.
Moments after the goalkeeper pushed away a low drive, Paulinho climbed highest to power home a header from the corner for 2-0.
Barca picked up from where they left off after the restart as Messi’s side-footed was blocked by Dmitrovic, but the custodian couldn’t hold on to it and Denis took a touch, before burying the rebound.
Sergi Enrich, however, flew onto an inch-perfect cross from the left and slid home for 3-1 with half an hour still to play.
Nonetheless, Messi made no mistake when he picked his spot past Dmitrovic from the edge of the box to restore Barca’s three-goal cushion.
The Argentine then played a give-and-go with Paulinho, before beating off two Eibar defenders and sliding a shot through Dmitrovic’s legs for yet another hat-trick.
The visitors did have chances to get themselves back into the game, but Ter Stegen got a big hand to push away Takashi Inui’s close-range strike, while Javier Mascherano deflected Ruben Pena’s angled finish onto the post.
Messi, on the other hand, encountered no such problems, dinking the ball to substitute Aleix Vidal and getting it back, before finding the back of Dmitrovic’s net.
Los Armeros’ difficult night was capped off when Charles’ towering header off the bench beat Ter Stegen but clipped the crossbar.
Barcelona 6-1 Eibar
Messi pen 20, 59, 62, 87, Paulinho 38, Denis 53 (B) Enrich 57 (E)
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Mascherano, Pique, Digne; Paulinho, Busquets (Rakitic 65), Iniesta (Sergi Roberto 63); Denis, Messi, Deulofeu (Vidal 75)
Eibar: Dmitrovic; Arbilla, Oliveira, Galvez, Junca; Jordan, Escalante, Dani Garcia (Rivera 77); Capa (Pena 65), Enrich (Charles 77), Inui
Referee: Hernandez Hernandez
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