For more than a decade now, it remains an unsolved puzzle for the best Coaches and even defenders across the world on how to Stop Lionel Messi or keep him at bay. White the plot to devise a means of stopping the Argentine talisman from scoring or wrecking havoc to teams hasn't been effective, many thought his current age will naturally neutralize his venomous impact in the pitch. However, the Barcelona captain seem to be getting more deadly as days go by. In recent times, he has become Barcelona's playmaker, dictating the rhythm of play while creating more goal opportunities for the likes of Suarez, Griezmann etc to score. This is reflected in the number of assists(12) he has so far in the Spanish League. This role notwithstanding, the father of three and six times Ballon d'or winner has not totally derobe himself of his scoring instincts when those upfront are unable to live up to scoring expectations. On Saturday evening, Lionel Messi sent shocks down the spines of Eibar, as he lighted up the Camp Nou with another electrifying performance, scoring four goals to send Barcelona back to the top of the league. Barcelona cruised to an emphatic 5-0 Victoria over their visitors Eibar, and that was all the needed to reclaim the lead from Real Madrid who fell to a surprising 1-0 defeat in the hands of Levante. Setien's Barcelona are now 55 points while Los Blancos slip left them in 53 points. When The former Real Betis manager took over the Catalan club after Ernesto Valverde's sack, Barca dropped from the top, allowing Madrid to take over the lead.
He will be all grateful to his captain whose talismanic performance against Eibar fired the team back to the top. Despite the controversies that have rocked the club recently, especially the rumours of Barcelona management hiring a media outlet to criticize to Barcelona players including Messi while putting the management in good light, Setien's side have not allowed this off pitch distractions to Watertown their focus. This win comes at a time when Barça is heading into their first leg of Champions League round of 16 against Napoli Next Week. While many don't consider the Spanish Champions as a major contender for the European silverware, performance such as that against Eibar at the Camp Nou can really go a long way to unsettle their opponents. Apart from Lionel Messi stealing the show on Saturday game, I was also impressed by the performance of Barça's latest signing Braithwaithe, who came into the game and offered two assists in his debut match for his new club. The forward who was a bit unfortunate not to have scored was really excited after the game, jokingly saying he won't wash the jersey that Messi hugged him with. In all, it was an interesting outing and I say Bravo! to Messi, as he continues to immortalise his name in the heart of Barcelona fans.