Barcelona strolled to an easy win with a 5-0 thumping of Atletico Madrid in this weekend’s Liga encounter.
Barcelona and Lionel Messi were in thrilling form as they thumped Atletico Madrid 5-0 at Camp Nou to return to winning ways.
The Argentine attacker scored a hat-trick, and a further effort from David Villa plus a Miranda own goal sealed an excellent evening's work for the Catalan giant.
The home side began the match without defenders Carlos Puyol or Gerard Pique, along with Alexis Sanchez and Andres Iniesta, who are bothe injured. However, it was Atletico Madrid which threatened early as Tiago's fourth-minute shot beat Victor Valdes but was denied by the crossbar.
Barcelona was completing a shuffle of passes on the pitch when it found the first goal in the ninth minute through David Villa. The Spanish international brought the ball down with his chest on the left side of the penalty area and tucked it in the bottom right corner.
The home side netted its second only six minutes later with an own goal after Lionel Messi attempted to touch the ball past the keeper resulting in a deflection off the knee of Atletico defender Miranda.
Barcelona continued to dominate the game with a flourish of runs and passes when Messi grabbed his first and Barcelona’s third of the night in the 26th minute. A throw-in resulted in a simple round of passes that found Messi dashing towards goal on the left side, beating a defender, and placing the ball in the bottom corner of the net.
Cesc Fabregas nearly found his first of the night in the 41st minute after an attempted chip over the Atletico keeper just outside the box, only for the ball to graze the crossbar and go behind goal.
Barcelona began the second half in similar fashion with Gerard Pique being brought into the match. The home side created a chance in the 53rd minute, with Cesc Fabregas feeding the ball to Messi in the box only for the Belgian keeper Thibaut Courtois to make another save.
The hosts kept much possession of the ball when they had created another chance in the 67th minute after Lionel Messi left David Villa one on one with the keeper, but the striker could not finish.
Barcelona grabbed its fourth of the night in the 78th minute after a moment of brilliance from Lionel Messi, who received the ball from Dani Alves on the right and strolled past three Atletico defenders to pass the ball into the goal.
The little Argentine then grabbed a hat-trick in stoppage time after making a run down the left and putting the ball between the keeper's legs.