Barcelona opened its Champions League group-stage campaign with a 7-0 thrashing of Glasgow-based Scottish club Celtic at its own Camp Nou in Catalonia on Tuesday, thanks to three goals from Lionel Messi and two from Luis Suarez, as well as one goal each from Neymar and Andres Iniesta. 

Lionel Messi’s Hat-Trick, Luis Suarez’ Double Lead Barcelona To 7-0 Rout Of Celtic

Messi’s hat trick was the 40th of his career, and a Champions League record sixth for the Argentinian striker. Barca has now reached the top of Group C, a spot they would have surely enjoyed even if Manchester City’s matchup with Borussia Monchengladbach had not been rained out.

Messi opened scoring just three minutes in. Barcelona won a corner and took it short, but then the Celtic Hoops switched off: Messi found himself free and fired a high shot from a tight angle inside the box to beat Celtic’s Dutch goalkeeper Dorus de Vries. 

In the 25th minute, Celtic won a corner that Barca ultimately cleared. After Celtic’s Moussa Dembele attempted a finish on Barcelona’s goal, the Spanish team’s 24-year-old German captain Marc-André ter Stegen rushed out to successfully make the save but was booked for tripping Dembele, thus drawing a penalty.


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However, ter Stegen guessed right on Dembel’s penalty kick and dove to his right to block the shot.

Messi then doubled Barcelona’s lead in the 27th minute. Neymar went around de Vries, and Messi finished from about five yards away. There were six Celtic defenseman and the goalie in the box, but they all seemed unable to stop the Barcelona pair.

Roughly two minutes before halftime, Messi shot over the crossbar. Neymar sent a cross from the left side, and Messi was free in the middle, but the ball just skipped up off the turf and the Argentine was unable to get his knee over it to control the shot.

Iniesta came on as a substitute for Ivan Rakitic at the start of the second half, since Rakitic was booked before the break.

Neymar then made it 3-0 just five minutes after the break on a free kick by shooting over both the Celtic defenders lined up as a barrier and over de Vries.

Iniesta tacked on the fourth goal in the 59th minute with a medium-height volley from about sixteen yards out after taking a cross from Neymar.

One minute later, Messi completed his hat-trick when Celtic defender Kolo Touré attempted to play offside, but failed. Messi ran clear, fed Suarez, and took the return pass to tap the ball home from six yards away as the Hoops defense crumbled even further.

In the 68th minute, Celtic made two substitutions: Eoghan O’Connell and Stuart Armstrong came on for Patrick Roberts and Erik Sviatchenko. 

Suarez finally got his goal in the 75th minute after several failed attempts that left him looking supremely frustrated. Neymar had time and space in midfield, and he dropped an incredibly precise pass over the Uruguayan striker’s shoulder. Suarez took one touch, swiveled, and fired a left-footed volley into the back of the net to make it 6-0.

Suarez scored his second goal in the 88th minute, one minute after Messi fired a shot that ricocheted off the post and ended up in de Vries’ hands. After a short corner, Celtic again switched off, Iniesta fed Messi, and Suarez took Messi’s cross to tap the ball in from about four yards, practically sliding as he did so.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers praised the 29-year-old Suarez, who worked under him at Liverpool.

Rodgers claimed Suarez is the best player in the world, despite the fact that many fans believe that title belongs to Messi.

“First of all, when you speak about Luis Suarez you have to speak about the man,” said Rodgers. “Luis Suarez is one of the most beautiful men you could come across. Very humble guy, who works tirelessly at his profession. He is super-professional, a family man who gives everything for his life as a footballer and his family. I had the pleasure of working with him for two years and he was incredible and as a footballer, he is the best in the world. The biggest compliment you can give Luis is that he came to an already world-class team and he made them even better.”

BARCELONA, SPAIN – SEPTEMBER 13: Luis Suarez of Barcelona scores his sides seventh goal during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between FC Barcelona and Celtic FC at Camp Nou on September 13, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

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