The Barcelona striker, who Pelé described in midweek as having “only one foot”, scored two superb free-kicks in the Catalan derby.
Espanyol will be rueing the day this week that Pelé decided to weigh in on Messi’s abilities. The Brazilian legend said Maradona was far better than Messi and that the current Barcelona number 10 only has one foot and is poor with his head. These insults of course came on top of the Ballon d’Or snub on Monday which saw Messi ranked fifth in the world.
Messi absolutely out of this world tonight. It's almost like something happened this week that really fired him up.— AS English (@English_AS) 8 December 2018
Messi scores two superb free-kicks
And it was Espanyol who paid the price. A clearly fired up Messi ran a masterclass of a show against the Catalan capital’s second side, scoring two absolutely superb free-kicks - the first time he’s ever scored two in a LaLiga match (which also put him top of the LaLiga scoring charts, level with Stuani)
The Argentinean was in scintillating form, producing runs and setting up his team-mates in any number of areas around the Espanyol area. After scoring his first free-kick, Barcelona's opener, after 17 minutes he then set up Dembélé nine minutes later with a fine ball across the box. On possibly the one occasion when he misplaced a pass, Messi ran back into his own half to intercept the ball and dispossess Espanyol again.
Messi's message was clear. Espanyol were left to wonder why Pelé couldn't have kept his mouth shut.