Today, at the Camp Nou, La Liga's Barcelona FC defeated Osasuna FC 5-0 with goals from Lionel Messi at the 18′ , 63′, and 88', Alexis Sánchez at the 22′ Andres Iniesta at the 34′, Cristian Tello at the 78′, and Pedro at the 90th (http://bit.ly/Oldmp2).
It was an unfortunate Osasuna who visited the Catalans today. Messi and his troops were in the type of form that saw them win every piece of hardware available a few years back. The score could have been higher and the quality of the misses was galactic.
Messi scored a superb opening goal and Sanchez doubled the lead and settled the match four minutes later. But Barcelona was on a tear, needing to atone for what has been for them, and only for them, a rocky few weeks with uncharacteristic losses and ties instead of their routine victories. Today there was blood on the waters and a defenseless opponent upon which to feast.
Barcelona is nothing if not clinical when they are clicking on all cylinders and this was a great team at full throttle. Granted the opposition was not stiff, but it would have been interesting to see Bayern Munich on the other side of the ball on a day like today. Not that Barcelona ever has that opponent in mind when playing like this. Right?
With Real Madrid's 1-0 win over Malaga and Atletico Madrid's 1-0 win over Espanyol the table remains with Real in first with 70 points and a +51 goal differential, Atletico in second with 67 points and +43, and Barcelona in third with 66 and +59. With head-to-head and other tough games on each of these teams' schedules the La Liga champion is still quite a few exciting matches down the line.
The goal scoring side of things mirrors the standings with Cristiano Ronaldo in first at 25 goals, Diego Costa in second with 22 and Messi in third at 18 goals.
Which brings us to next Sunday when Real and Barca meet at the Bernabeu after both teams have settled their progression in the Champions League and can focus on the Clasico. That one should be a game to remember--Messi is clicking and his teammates are following his lead at just in time. Ronaldo and company have been the better side for months, and then comes Sunday, March 23, 2014.