Messi and Coutinho helps Barca overcome Alaves in La Liga opener
Barcelona – 3
Alaves – 0
A brace from Lionel Messi with a Philippe Coutinho wonder strike helped Barcelona to open their 2018-19 La Liga campaign with a 3-0 win over Alaves at Camp Nou on Saturday night.
Messi, the new Barcelona captain, broke the deadlock in the 64th minute with an outstanding free-kick from range.
Coutinho, who had come off the bench, lashed in the second goal before Messi added charm to the scoreline in stoppage time.
It was an ideal opening result for Ernesto Valverde’s side, who are hoping to once again see off the challenges of Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid in the battle for the title.
Alaves created threats, but Ruben Sobrino bundled a Manu Garcia cross wide of the post in the 17th minute as the Basque outfit had some joy in the wide positions.
Barcelona came closest to opening the scoring in the opening 30 minutes, with Luis Suarez, making his 200th appearance for the club, firing just over the crossbar.
Messi then struck the Alaves crossbar just before the hour as Barcelona continued to search for the opening goal of the match.
But it was still the Barca talisman that broke the deadlock in the 64th minute, firing a low free-kick under the wall and into the bottom corner.
Brazilian talent Coutinho put the match beyond Alaves in the 83rd minute when he slalomed into the penalty area before finding the back of the net with a wonderful curling strike.
Messi added a third to the score-line in the stoppage time to register an easy win for the Catalan giants at the Camp Nou.
from SportsFlashes.com https://ift.tt/2w2ksHB