FC Barcelona maintained their lead in La Liga as they demolished Rayo Vallecano 5-0 on Saturday. But the night belonged to Lionel Messi as his brace in the game broke several records and marked the 300th and 301st goals of his career.
I’m sure there will be a Messi/300-movie meme made soon saying “This is Barça!!!” Just saying.
Tito Vilanova’s men got off to a bit of a slow start as they couldn’t manage much in the first 10 minutes of the game. Cesc Fabregas nearly gave up a free kick just outside the box, but the referee did not see a foul. Lionel Messi’s first clear shot went high and wide in the 19th minute.
Barcelona struck first in the 20th minute thanks to David Villa. Fabregas sent a sweet through ball past the Rayo defense and el guaje ran towards the middle of the pitch and slid it past goalkeeper Ruben Martinez for the 1-0 lead. Cesc’s assist was his sixth in nine Liga games. Fabregas nearly made it 2-0 in the 30th minute as he had a clear shot inside the box, but a nice stop by Martinez kept Rayo within one.
Rayo Vallecano’s first shot at goal came in the 44th minute as a nice lob pass from Leo Baptistão to Andrija Delibasic lead to a shot saved easily by Victor Valdes to end the first half.
Lionel Messi doubled the lead in the opening minutes of the second half as a fantastic pass from Martin Montoya landed at the feet of King Leo, who slammed his twelfth goal of the season.
Victor Valdes actually had a good game, including a terrific stop on a Javi Fuego shot in the 61st minute.
The scoring got going again in the 79th minute as Jordi Alba found Xavi open inside the box, who put it low and to inside the far post to make it 3-0. Just a minute later, Pedro crossed it into the box and found an open Fabregas who made it 4-0.
Just when we all thought it was over, Lionel Messi decided it was time to get himself a brace as a Cesc chip pass found Messi who outran the Rayo defenders, faked out goalkeeper Ruben, and slipped it in to get “una mantio” for Barcelona.
Messi has now scored 73 goals in all of 2012 for both club and country.
Plain and simple: the Ballon d’Or does not deserve to go to any other player in 2012 than Leo Messi.
Final: Rayo Vallecano 0 – 5 FC Barcelona
Barcelona has won eight of their first nine games in La Liga.
Last time they did this, they won the title.
Let’s break down the players, then we’ll break down Lionel Messi by the numbers in FC Barcelona’s 5-0 destruction of Rayo Vallecano on Saturday.