The Camp Nou was buzzing as almost 100,000 fans commemorated Lionel Messi’s 500 goals. It seemed as if the match against Osasuna was a side attraction. The match ended up being enjoyable while putting pressure on Real Madrid to perform. Leo appreciated the gesture, but, as we saw, he wasn’t done yet.
The match began with a lineup of Marc- André ter Stegen at keeper with Gerard Piqué, Javier Mascherano, and Lukas Digne in the three-man defense. The midfield roles were occupied by André Gomes, Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets, and Denis Suárez. Up top, Messi, Paco Alcácer, and Arda Turan were to provide the firepower.
The match began interestingly, as Barcelona were allowed to do whatever they wanted. Osasuna seemed not to care much about pressing. Against a lackluster defense, Messi quickly opened the scoring with a delightful chip over the keeper in the 12th minute.
André Gomes kept it up in the 30th minute as he slotted home a nice finish off a cross. Barça entered halftime up 2-0 with a very comfortable lead.
The second half began with some tension. Roberto Torres turned ter Stegen completely around with a nice free kick after a sloppy Busquets foul. The score was 2-1.
However, there was never any need to worry, as that isolated play was not too significant after all. Barcelona quickly came back. André Gomes scored a his second off an odd play in which the ball bounced around the box.
Messi scored once again in the 61st minute after a brilliant dribble opened up some space. He fired a shot straight past Salvatore Sirigu and scored his second.
From then on, every Barça fan could breathe a sigh of relief. Paco Alcácer scored just three minutes later off some hard work to poke the ball home. Messi was subbed out to to a standing ovation by the Camp Nou, and Carles Aleñá got some productive minutes.
It finally happened. Javier Mascherano was given a penalty with just about 20 minutes left in the match, and boy did he deliver. He absolutely blasted a shot into the top of the goal, scoring his FIRST goal in over seven years as a blaugrana.
— totalBarça (@totalBarca) April 26, 2017
Paco scored again in the 84th minute, rounding Sirigu and firing into an empty net. The score was now 7-1, and the fans were loving it.
This game was exactly what barcelonistas needed after the thrilling Clásico on Sunday. The team had a good, uneventful game that certainly had to help boost morale. More importantly, the atmosphere at the Camp Nou was great. Fans are loving this team again.
Also, credit where credit is due. André Gomes, we’ve doubted you, but congrats on having 1.) A good Clásico in your few minutes and 2.) A brace today. Like I’ve said before, I like you, you’re a good guy. Keep playing like this and you’ll be a fan favorite soon enough.
And Masche! Finally! That’s all I have to say about that.
Good win for us, good day overall. They’ve put some pressure on Real Madrid by staying atop la Liga. But on a day where fans were there to celebrate Messi, it’s good that that was the most interesting occurrence was some fans holding up his jersey.