Watch the goals and key plays as Barcelona and PSV Eindhoven square off in Group B play in the UEFA Champions League.

By Avi Creditor
September 18, 2018

Barcelona's quest to return to European glory is off and running.

Lionel Messi notched a hat trick–including an inch-perfect free kick–and Ousmane Dembele scored a stunner of his own in a 4-0 rout of Dutch champion PSV Eindhoven in their Champions League group opener on Tuesday.

Barcelona has watched bitter rival Real Madrid lift the Champions League trophy in each of the last three seasons, and it set out on trying to reclaim the title in impressive fashion, with Messi the catalyst. His free kick in the 31st minute broke the deadlock, and his late pair 10 minutes apart sealed the deal after Dembele brought Camp Nou to its feet with a brilliant goal of his own.

Barcelona, unfamiliarly playing in daylight with the new early start times added to the competition, bossed the ball in the early moments, though without creating too much havoc in the final third. 

It was PSV that had the first dangerous moment of the match, when an awful clearance fell to Gaston Pereiro just inside the Barcelona box. The Uruguayan midfielder spoiled the chance, though, blasting it over Marc-Andre ter Stegen's goal and letting the hosts off easy.

Barcelona perhaps took that as a wake-up call and pushed for the opener on the other end. It nearly came through Philippe Coutinho, who had to contort himself to get a head on Suarez's cross from the right, only to put his chance wide of the mark in the 11th minute.

PSV didn't appear to be too bothered by Barcelona's aggression and it nearly struck on the counterattack a few minutes later. Steven Bergwijn was played forward down the left channel, and his curling attempt didn't miss the far post by much, as a grateful ter Stegen watched the shot bend wide.

The seesaw tilted back toward Barcelona in the 20th minute, when Messi split the defense with a pass to Suarez down the right-hand side. The Uruguayan veteran raced onto it a tight angle and could only hit the side netting, though, keeping things 0-0.

Barcelona maintained the pressure and steered its first chance on target in the 27th minute through an unusual source. Right back Sergi Roberto had pushed forward and let fly from 20 yards, only for Jeroen Zoet to make the save.

Messi opened the scoring at the half-hour mark in sensational fashion. Gifted a free kick some 25 yards out and straightaway, Messi curled a left-footed chance by a helpless, diving Zoet, giving Barcelona a 1-0 edge.

Barcelona pushed for a second, and it nearly came through Coutinho in the 58th minute, when the Brazilian tested Zoet with a trademark right-footed curler, only to have the goalkeeper make a leaping save to keep it out.

It was Suarez's turn to nearly add to the lead 10 minutes later, when he tried to chip Zoet from 18 yards out. He beat the keeper, but he put his chance off the crossbar, coming inches from getting on the board.

Barcelona got its insurance strike in the 75th minute, and it came in sensational fashion. Dembele bent a right-footed strike from long range by a diving Zoet, tucking it inside the far post to make it 2-0.

That lead became 3-0 moments later. Ivan Rakitic's lofted ball forward found Messi in the box, and his first-time, left-footed chance was hit perfectly to extend the advantage.

The news wasn't all good for Barcelona, though. Samuel Umtiti, booked earlier in the match for dissent, was sent off for his second yellow of the match in the 78th minute, reducing the hosts to 10 men for the remainder of the match.

The man disadvantage didn't matter. Suarez set up Messi in the 87th minute for the strike that completed his hat trick and finished off PSV for the day.

Here were the lineups for both sides:

Barcelona's next group match is at Tottenham, while PSV will host Inter Milan in Matchday 2 action on Oct. 3.

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Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)