BARCELONA – Barcelona captain Lionel Messi was in a prolific mood as his side crushed Eibar 5-0 at home in La Liga on Saturday, scoring four goals to placate supporters who began the game by showing their discontent with president Josep Maria Bartomeu.
The win took Barca back to the top of La Liga on 55 points, two ahead of Real Madrid who visit Levante later on Saturday, and gave them a boost ahead of their Champions League last-16, first leg tie at Napoli on Tuesday.
Messi had not scored in his previous four games but put the Spanish champions ahead in the 14th minute by dancing and barging his way past three players to slot home for the opener.
He doubled the lead in the 37th with an equally impressive strike before completing his treble moments later and netted late in the second half for his fourth goal before Arthur Melo completed the drubbing with a tap-in.
The Argentine’s goals cheered fans who began the match waving handkerchiefs and calling for Bartomeu to resign after the club was embroiled in a scandal involving a firm hired to monitor coverage of the team on social media>chaosafrica