BARCELONA: Lionel Messi scored two scorching strikes as Barcelona hammered Alaves 5-1 on Saturday in La Liga to warm up for their upcoming Champions League clash with Paris St Germain in style.
Portuguese forward Francisco Trincao put Barca in front after a cut-back from 18-year-old debutant midfielder Ilaix Moriba and Messi thought he had doubled the lead later on when knocking in on the rebound but the goal was ruled out for a marginal offside against Antoine Griezmann.
Messi then took matters in to his own hands from outside the area and thumped the ball off the far post with such venom that it landed just inside the opposite post.
Alaves's Luis Rioja pounced on a mistake by Ilaix to reduce the deficit in the second half but Barca came roaring back with a second strike from Trincao, another long range missile from Messi and then a fifth goal crafted by Messi and Griezmann and finished off by left back Junior Firpo.
(Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Toby Davis)