2 gorgeous goals, 1 telepathic assist, and another La Liga record: Lionel Messi toyed with Espanyol in thumping 4-0 win

Lionel Messi.

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Lionel Messi.
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Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

  • Lionel Messi scored two goals, produced one assist, and produced another La Liga record in FC Barcelona’s thumping 4-0 victory over Espanyol.
  • Both of Messi’s goals came from free kicks and there is an argument now that he is the greatest free kick taker of all time, on top of everything else he has going for him.
  • Watch Messi’s goals right here.
  • Read all of Business Insider’s coverage for the 2018-2019 European Soccer season here.

FC Barcelona filmed yet another episode of the marvellous Lionel Messi show on Saturday as the club captain ran rampant over the team’s La Liga opponent Espanyol.

Messi alone was responsible for two gorgeous long-range goals, one telepathic assist, and ball wizardry that seemingly confounded defenders all night long.

The soccer statistics website Whoscored.com gave Messi a perfect 10 for his two goals from five shots, one assist from five key chances provided, and seven successful dribbles.

It is rare for a player to return a flawless performance, but Messi has now managed it four times already – and the season has yet to reach its halfway point.

Messi mastered the game long ago. He’s soccer’s hero, playing with a casual majesty and an effortless strut, rendering defenders as useless as traffic cones on a training ground. He’s that good, has been for well over a decade, and he shows no signs of slowing down just yet.

His latest masterclass began in the 17th minute when he hovered over a dead ball, as Espanyol mobilized to defend a free kick.

Really, they needn’t have bothered, as Messi whipped in a shot that evaded each and every one of them, picking out the top right-hand corner from range.

Watch the free kick goal right here:

Eight minutes later, three Espanyol defenders attempted to crowd Messi out of the penalty box but he played like the ball was glued to his boots as he twinkle-toed his way out of trouble and found his teammate Ousmane Dembele with a telepathic cross-box assist.

Demebele took three touches, curled a deft shot around the Espanyol goalkeeper Pau Lopez, and gave Barcelona an easy 2-0 lead.

Watch Messi’s assist here:

Luis Suarez capitalized on a Dembele pass to make it 3-0 just before half time, and though Messi had no direct involvement, he closed the show in formidable fashion in the 65th minute.

From 27 meters out, Messi lined up another free kick and once again beat Lopez with his laser of a left foot.

Watch it right here:

Goal.com chief correspondent Peter Staunton tweeted: “It’s time we stopped overlooking the fact that Messi is the greatest freekick taker of all time, on top of everything else.”

The night wasn’t just another typical Lionel Messi show, of which there have been many this season, as his exploits saw him surpass the 10+ goal mark in the 2018-2019 La Liga campaign.

This means he has now scored over ten La Liga goals in each and every season for the last 13 years, and is the only player to ever do so in La Liga history.

Still only 31, it’s clear he will continue to break his own record in the years to come.