BARCELONA – Lionel Messi has already played an important part for Barcelona this season but the forward finally hit his unstoppable best in a 5-1 win over Real Valladolid in La Liga on Tuesday.
Messi scored twice and created goals for Arturo Vidal and Luis Suarez as champions Barca moved top of the table with 22 points from 10 matches.
Barcelona began the season in shaky form with Messi sidelined through injury, but since their captain started for the first time, on Sept. 24, they have won their seven matches in all competitions.
Before that they managed just two wins in six games, suffering defeats by Athletic Bilbao and Granada.
Barca struggled last week against Slavia Prague in the Champions League and barely scraped a 2-1 victory in the Czech capital but, with Messi firing on all cylinders, the team looked much improved against Valladolid.