Messi returned to action in style and amid a celebratory mood. The Argentine superstar was sublime, clinical, intricate and wanted to attack and defend equally to prove explicitly who the leader of this team of fabulous stars really is. Suárez and Neymar also enjoyed their fair share of limelight themselves during the 28-year-old’s striking comeback seemingly as much as they did inspire and motivate the whole team even during his absence. The deadly trio do just as they please, and whenever they feel like it, they choose to demolish the opponents. Neymar and Suárez are now once more united by a Messi whose instant and lethal impact at the Bernabéu suggests that he will not need long to return to his usual brilliant best.
Roma’s set-up, team formation and game plan played directly into Barça’s hands. Rudi García intended to minimise the gap between the defensive lines, but all he pulled off in doing was give the home side potential one-on-ones with a simple through pass. The Roma defence pushed up hard while the midfield dropped back to form a single imoressive line occasionally making them easy prey. There was a little pressure on the men in possession, meaning Messi & Co. had all the time and space to dominate. Playing a high line in such exciting situations leaves very little chance of finding success, if any.
A rampant Barcelona ripped through the visitors’ defence line with ease and showed no signs of taking it slow. Piqué is back to his usual best, Busquets is as efficient as ever without necessarily getting into the midfield clashes while the team performed impressively without the best player on the ground at the Bernabéu, Andrés Iniesta. All this implies that the players are heading in the identical direction.