Barcelona Manager Ernesto Valverde Reveals Lionel Messi Continues To Surprises Him

Thursday, 01 Mar, 2018

Thousands of yellow ribbons were handed out around the stadium in a protest Pep Guardiola is familiar with.

On this evidence, that process has started already and, with Messi and Suarez in this mood, Barca's breathtaking football made a mockery of suggestions after the game at Stamford Bridge that this team is exhausted and predictable.

Catalan nationalists have long been well organised and at Camp Nou they have always found a supportive crowd.

"This is a team game and it was a wonderful gesture".

Barca's victory against Girona sees them stay top of the table, with 20 wins and five draws from 25 games.

But it was not.

But, before the dust had settled on the shock opener to the game, Barcelona were soon level when Lionel Messi provided the ideal assist for Luis Suarez to score.

The match was also special for Messi from a personal point of view as it was the first since the death of his maternal grandfather at home in Rosario in Argentina.

Barca lead the standings on 65 points, 10 clear of Atletico Madrid who visit Sevilla on Sunday and 14 ahead of champions Real.

"Barcelona play unique football".

By the end, it was three for Suarez, two for Messi, one for Coutinho - and six of the best for Barca. As for Coutinho's, the defenders gave him enough space to do what he wanted and he finished perfectly, but it did hit the post and could have almost gone out (again, it's nitpicking). Let us know in the comments section below.

Messi stretched Barcelona's advantage with a sublime free-kick underneath the Girona wall and Suarez made it 4-1 before the break. Goalkeeper Bono was unsighted and the ball rolled past him.

Despite being nearly unplayable for the 90 minutes, the 30-year-old stunned his teammates with his second goal of the game - a free-kick that was intentionally struck under the jumping wall. Suarez completed his treble 10 minutes later when he tapped in a cross by Ousmane Dembele.

Coda blazed another shot over the bar on the hour before Skriniar broke the deadlock in the 66th minute, powering a header past Christian Puggioni after the keeper got a hand to it but could not keep it out.