If the Bernabéu crowd enjoyed their Saturday evening as Madrid beat Leganes 4-1, then there was double delight at Camp Nou last night where Barcelona humbled Huesca 8-2. It was a wonderful game with the visitors even taking an early lead. It didn't take long however, before Messi and co. got to work against the valiant newcomers to LaLiga. The Argentine bagged two and was instrumental in others offering a dazzling display. It's incredible how he manages to persist with that casual air, playing with a carefree abandon yet still manages to display all the characteristics of a finely tuned precision machine. He makes it so easy for his team-mates and becomes a nightmare for opposing teams.
There were even doubts lingering in the air pre-season as yo how the player would face the 18/19 season following Argentina's disappointing campaign in Russia. The 2018 World Cup for many was Messi's last tilt at major international glory in a national side where he bore the brunt of a country's expectation. Three domestic league games are enough to clearly show that there is no Russia hangover for the player as his LaLiga performances have been excellent and a delight to behold as he clearly feels less pressure at the club than when he pulls on the sky blue and white striped shirt of the national team. It's as if there are two versions of the player, but one who plays in a carefree and un-pressurised manner wearing the colours of Barça.
Two horse race?
As we head to an international break, it already feels like we're, yet again staring at a two horse race in LaLiga with Atlético already trailing the 'big two' by five points but it has to be pointed out the uncomplicated fixture list that both Barcelona and Madrid have enjoyed with the start of the new season. With so many players from both clubs involved in the World Cup, I'm sure they were both delighted with the benevolent opening schedule. It's a question of fortune of course but both clubs are already setting the pace as Barça with an inspired Messi looking sharp with the fine performances to date too from Coutinho and Dembelé. Madrid on the other hand, appear to be faring fine without Cristiano and three wins from three for Lopetegui's men have even seen a revived Karim Benzema find the target five times for "Los Blancos".