FC Barcelona 3-1 Athletic Club (4-3 on aggregate): The trident strikes again

January 12, 2017 11:16 AM | MIKE ROBERTS

Goals from Suárez, Neymar and Messi secure an action-packed victory that keeps alive the quest for a third consecutive Copa del Rey trophy. Manager was delighted with his team's performance in winning a place in Friday's Copa del Rey quarter final draw - and can't help singling out Leo Messi for special praise. "From what we could see from the two legs, our qualification was the fairest outcome”, said Luis Enrique. "Leo Messi was as decisive as ever. I hope he stays here for many more years”, he added. After two setbacks, the first victory of 2017 is in the bag and Barça will be one of the eight names featuring in Friday’s draw.

Match Report: FC Barcelona v Manchester City: Maestro Messi shows the way (4–0)

October 20, 2016 09:32 AM | MICHAEL HARRISON TOLL

A sweet victory for Luis Enrique on Wednesday night, soundly defeating his friend and former teammate, Pep Guardiola, 4–0, in the third Group C game for FC Barcelona and Manchester City. Lionel Messi, of course, was the star of the show, scoring thrice to leave not just his former manager on the losing end but his leaving his current manager almost lost for words. “He was decisive,” Luis Enrique said after the game. “He was involved in all the game’s key moments.” Guardiola was handily defeated at Camp Nou for the second time in two matches since leaving his lifelong club five seasons ago.  Besides Messi’s seventh career Champions League hat-trick, Neymar Jr added a late goal.

FC Barcelona open Champions League play with a 7–0 rout of Celtic FC

September 14, 2016 09:43 AM | MICHAEL HARRISON TOLL

Messi, Neymar and Suárez trio shone in their first match side by side in 115 days, helping FC Barcelona to their biggest ever Champions League win, a 7-0 victory over Celtic at the Camp Nou. It took just three minutes for Messi to get things going after he was played through by Neymar. It was a sign of things to come as the Argentine would go on to score his first hat-trick of the campaign, his sixth ever in the Champions League, a feat which makes him the player with the most hat-tricks in the history of the competition. “We practically didn’t commit any mistakes,” Luis Enrique beamed from the podium in the Ricard Maxenchs press room at Camp Nou following Barça’s opening round knockout. “The players had fun, and that allowed the Barça supporters to have fun,” he said.

A double to end a dream season

May 23, 2016 10:22 AM | H. MICHAEL TOLL / R BOGUNYÀ

The victory in the Vicente Calderón strengthens FC Barcelona's position as the most successful team of recent years as they claim the Copa del Rey for the second successive season. Jordi Alba’s goal in the seventh minute of extra time capped a stunning turnaround of events and handed FC Barcelona a well-deserved 2–0 victory over Sevilla in the 2016 Copa del Rey final on Sunday night at the Vicente Calderón Stadium in Madrid. With the La Liga championship already in the bag, Sunday’s Copa del Rey win — the 28th in Club history — means Barça have emerged on top in both of this season’s national competitions, giving them the coveted domestic double and ensuring the 2015/16 season will be hailed as a success for years to come.

FC Barcelona knock out Athletic for yet another semi-final appearance in the Copa del Rey

January 28, 2016 09:55 AM | MICHAEL TOLL

FC Barcelona spent over 40 minutes in an uncharacteristically precarious position but got three second half goals to knock Athletic Club Bilbao out of the Copa del Rey by a score of 3–1, 5–2 on aggregate, and qualify for the semi-finals for the sixth consecutive year. It was the third meeting in a 10-day span between the two sides — one in La Liga, two in the Cup — with FC Barcelona winning all three by a combined score of 11–2. It was also the sixth and final game between the two this season, with the initial three also coming in a cluster. The victory sees FC Barcelona extend their unbeaten streak to 25 games across all competitions, including five straight wins at Camp Nou.

The stage is set for the 2015 FIFA Ballon d'Or awards ceremony

January 11, 2016 04:59 PM | FC Barcelona

Messi is going for his fifth Ballon d'Or, a jaw-dropping feat considering the fact that in the history of the award, he is the only person to have won it more than three times. Four other players have won it exactly three times, Johan Cruyff, Michel Platini, Marco van Basten and Cristiano Ronaldo, while just five other players have ever won it twice. Messi won his unprecedented fourth straight Ballon d'Or in 2013 and is now looking to distance himself from the pack. Messi and Ronaldo have scooped up every Ballon d'Or for the last seven years. That number is almost certain to rise to eight this Monday.