Lionel Messi scored one and made one other in Barcelona’s victory over PSV Eindhoven, as Ernesto Valverde’s males continued their Champions League bid.
The Blaugrana have made Europe’s premier membership crown their prime precedence this season, trying to finish the latest dominance of rivals Actual Madrid.
With qualification and prime spot in Group B already safe – with one sport remaining – they’re effectively on the right track.
Wednesday evening’s win on the Phillips Stadion secured a 12th successive season through which Barca will prime their group.
And the objective that ensured their newest success got here from Gerard Pique, turning house a freekick from Messi.
Nevertheless, the pair have subsequently disagreed over the origins of the objective, with Pique declaring the transfer one thing that that they had practiced – in stark distinction to the Argentine.
Talking pitchside after the win, Pique – with tongue firmly in cheek – mentioned: “It was a rehearsed transfer. We observe it lots and it got here off completely.”
However Messi, talking on Spanish TV and with one thing of a glint in his eye, confirmed that was not the case: “It’s a lie that it was rehearsed. The shot went badly and [Pique] was passing by means of.”
The grins after one other European win had been one other signal of unity amongst Barcelona’s stars, from two gamers who had been at odds earlier within the season.
Messi had earlier scored his 106th objective within the competitors, whereas Ousmane Dembele – whose future stays in query – starred in assault, enjoying on the precise of the entrance three within the absence of Luis Suarez.
Dembele has been experiencing robust love from his teammates currently, however was praised post-game by the Argentine.
“It was an incredible sport for him, similar to the entire group,” added Messi. “We’ve got received and we’re leaving with our objective fulfilled.”
Los Cules meet Tottenham at Camp Nou of their remaining group sport on December 11, earlier than consideration turns to the knockout phases.
“We all know learn how to compete within the Champions League,” mentioned Pique. “We’ve got demonstrated that within the final 10, 15 years.
“The nice a part of the competitors remains to be to return, probably the most troublesome half. Knockout rounds are completely different, you may’t have a nasty day, we all know that.”
Barcelona have dominated in La Liga lately, solely to see these successes considerably missed as Madrid have claimed European glory.
There’s a renewed willpower in Catalunya to not let that occur once more.
With two of their most necessary gamers now very a lot on the identical web page – no matter their statements over the second objective in Holland – they appear firmly within the combine of their quest for a sixth European Cup.