By 90Min
December 17, 2018

Ernesto Valverde was almost lost for words when it came to describing the performance of Lionel Messi following's Barcelona's 0-5 win over Levante in La Liga..

After a slightly unconvincing start to the game, Barcelona soon took charge of proceedings thanks in no small part to Messi who had a hand in all five goals on the night - netting a hat-trick and providing two assists for Luis Suarez and Gerard Pique.

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On the night where Messi became the first player to score 50 goals for club and country in 2018, his manager struggled to accurately articulate just how impressive he was.

"I don't know how to label him. I don't know how to answer the most repeated question," he said, via Goal. "He's the one who makes us play, who gives us amazing goals. We just have to enjoy him."

Last season Barcelona were defeated 5-4 by Levante and Valverde discussed how happy he was to come away with a comfortable victory this time around.

He said: "I'm happy because we conceded five here last year and that was after a whole season without losing, and it was only a few months ago.

"They're having a great season and they showed that when they came out against us. I'm leaving here particularly satisfied."


Barcelona were forced to tinker with their setup with Ivan Rakitic filling in at an unfamiliar wing-back role and Valverde revealed that this was due to an injury to Nelson Semedo.

Valverde added: "The line-up was conditioned by Semedo. It was a solution that was determined by injuries.


"We thought Nelson was going to play. They are used to a quick counter-attack and we had to control those situations. It cost us in the middle of the pitch, but in the second half we had total control."

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)