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Hat-Trick Hero Messi Leads Barca To UCL Victory

UEFA Champions League 

Result: FC Barcelona 4-0 PSV Eindhoven

Date: 18 September 2018

Venue: Camp Nou

Lionel Messi netted an impressive hat-trick as FC Barcelona began their UEFA Champions League campaign with a 4-0 thrashing of PSV Eindhoven.

Philippe Coutinho and Sergio Busquets were drafted into the starting line-up after starting on the bench over the weekend.

The Catalan giants dominated from the onset, but they found it tough to carve out clear-cut openings against a side happy to sit deep.

However, the deadlock was eventually broken on 31 minutes when Messi opened his account for the tournament with a superb free-kick that left Jeroen Zoet with no chance.

As the half winded down, PSV's Luuk De Jong was afforded time and space to shoot on the edge of the box, but the striker's effort sailed inches over the crossbar, as Barca went into the break leading by one goal.

Ernesto Valverde's charges upped the tempo in the second half as they carved out a couple chances after 58 minutes, with Philippe Coutinho and Messi firing wide.

The second goal eventually arrived on 74 minutes as Ousmane Dembele scored for the fourth straight match with an impressive individual effort.

Messi then registered his second and Barca's third goal three minutes later with a first-time finish into the bottom corner after latching onto Rakitic's pass.

Barca did finish the game on a sour note as Samuel Umtiti received his marching orders after picking up his second booking of the game.

However, Messi had the final say of the game as he completed his hat-trick in the 87th minute with a composed strike after being played in by Luis Suarez.

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