Messi: It's not as easy as it looks
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi said the Catalan side are making matches look easier than they are after tonight's 5-0 win over Real Sociedad at the Nou Camp.
Barcelona have now won their last two Primera Division matches at home by that scoreline - having impressively dispatched fierce rivals Real Madrid here two weeks ago - and have dropped only five points in the league all season. The Catalans also recently thrashed Almeria 8-0 away from home and beat Osasuna 3-0 in Pamplona last weekend, despite undergoing a stressful journey to reach the game on time following an air controller's strike.
"It looks easy, but it isn't," the Argentina forward told Canal+ after tonight's game. "It was hard for us, especially in the first half, when they closed up at the back."
Nevertheless, it took Barcelona just eight minutes to go ahead, with David Villa opening the scoring with a simple finish after Messi himself had freed Pedro on the right. Andres Iniesta added a second after 32 minutes to make it 2-0 at the break, before Messi added a second half brace to take his tally in the league to 17 in just 15 games.
The 23-year-old also hit the post late on before substitute Bojan Krkic made it 5-0 a minute from time. "The truth is things are turning out well for us and we are playing at a great level," Messi said.
Messi is in the running to win this year's FIFA Ballon d'Or, along with Barcelona team-mates Iniesta and Xavi, who have also made the final shortlist of three. "The important thing is that the three of us are there," Messi said. "It is great that three Barcelona players are there."
Barcelona have now scored 26 goals and let in none in their last six matches - four in the Primera Division and two in the UEFA Champions League. And Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola says it is a privilege to be in charge of such an impressive team.
"We have to be aware of what this team is achieving," he said after the match. "It is a privilege to be living this. I am sure we can get even better, but we can't get any more effort from the players - they all play for each other."
Guardiola won a treble of Primera Division, Champions League and Copa del Rey in his first season in charge, before retaining the league last term. But the Barcelona boss believes the football his side are currently playing is the best since he has been in charge at the club.
"This year is the best we have played," he said. "Also because the players have had more time together. I admire these players because they are continually producing and I know that the crowd are going away saying: 'we've had a good time'."
Barcelona still lead Madrid by two points in the title race, with Jose Mourinho's side earlier beating bottom side Zaragoza 3-1 at La Romareda.