Messi scores with 3rd touch on successful return from injury
Three touches of the ball were all Lionel Messi needed to score for Barcelona yesterday, showing that he is ready to take on his former coach Pep Guardiola in the Champions League.
Messi displayed no signs of rust after more than three weeks out of action with a right groin strain and scored inside of four minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute. The Argentine added to Barcelona's 4-0 rout of Deportivo La Coruna, firing in a well-placed pass by Neymar in the Spanish league match.
The convincing win comes shortly before former Barcelona coach Guardiola comes home to Camp Nou at the helm of new club Manchester City for a highly anticipated European clash on Wednesday.
"We played a great game. This is the perfect way to arrive at the match against City," said Barcelona coach Luis Enrique, who calls Guardiola a friend.
Atletico Madrid winger Yannick Carrasco scored a hat trick to keep Diego Simeone's side at the top of the league after showing no mercy against bottom-side Granada, despite going behind at the start.
Carrasco cancelled out Isaac Cuenca's stunning opener for Granada with an equalizer in the 34th. The Belgian international struck twice more for the hosts after passes by Angel Correa and Antoine Griezmann.
Substitute Nicolas Gaitan netted two more goals before Correa and Tiago Cardoso completed the 7-1 demolition of Granada in the demoralizing debut of coach Lucas Alcaraz.