Irresistible input! A Lionel Messi-double, including a mischievous free kick for FC Barcelona's 6000th goal in the Spanish League, allowed the Catalans to beat Alavés (3-0) on Saturday for the first day and to triumph. defend their crown.
In Camp Nou, Barça struggled to pack the match when Messi, who had found the cross on a first free kick (38th), shot this time under the wall (64th) to decant the meeting. Philippe Coutinho took the break at the end of the game with a rolled ball from the right (83) and Messi sealed the score in overtime (90 + 2).
This success without much use ideally launches the season of Barça (3 points), which joins the top of the preliminary ranking Levante, loser of Betis Sevilla Friday (3-0), and Real Sociedad, victorious on Villarreal ( 2-1) on Saturday.
That Messi on the same basis as last season after winning last May his fifth trophy from top scorer Liga ("Pichichi"). The Argentinian is looking for a sixth title this season to equal the record of the legendary Telmo Zarra.
And after the departure of his rival Cristiano Ronaldo for Juventus Turin in the off-season, the Argentinian will probably feel alone at the top of La Liga …
As for Barça, who started his first season since 2002 without his master Andrés Iniesta, who went to Japan, he will need the talent of Messi, new captain, to keep his rank of outgoing champion
On Saturday in Camp Nou the Catalan club started the season with the pace of a senator. Without starving his summer travelers and not speeding up against an opponent who is wound up in defense and who projects rapidly against him.
Without Iniesta, the left wing fell with Ousmane Dembélé, who held a second term in two official games and produced an attractive copy.
His speed and ability to eliminate have done damage in the Basque defense, like on this confused slalom (69th). The French winger could have opened the score without a bit of waste in the finish: a duel lost with the goalkeeper on a Messi (39th) and two crossfire in good position (31, 44).
During the break coach Ernesto Valverde found that the offensive threat had to be increased and Brazilian Philippe Coutinho came in.
But minutes passed and Barça did not find the fault against the Basque block.
No a problem for Messi: the Argentinian got a foul at the entrance to the surface and surprised his world by sliding the ball under the wall that had just jumped (63). What freed a Camp Nou half filled in this summer and that was still ignited on a role of "La Puce" on the pole (66th).
And in a late game a bit more open, Messi could have been decisive passer if Coutinho had not lost his duel with the goalkeeper (82).
The Brazilian, however, caught shortly afterwards with his "special": he was transplanted into the axis of the surface and put the goalkeeper with a rolled-up bullet (83 & # 39;) in front of a small flat foot of his captain Messi ( 90 + 2), just to set the machine blaugrana this season.