A spectacular first-half display from FC Barcelona saw them crush Atletico Madrid on the sixth round of the Spanish Liga yesterday at the Camp Nou.

From the very start of the game Atlético proved themselves completely unable to handle the intensity of Barça’s play. After only eight minutes the score was already 3-0 with goals from Márquez, Eto’o and Messi. Maxi scored for the colchoneros shortly after, but further strikes by Eto’o and Gudjohnsen made the score a stunning 5-1 at the break. The game was obviously over and in the second half Barça reduced the pace of their play. Thierry Henry, who came on substituting Samuel Eto’o, rounded off the night with a beautiful goal.

Leo Messi put in a fantastic performance. He was superb on the ball and made great touches and dribbles, including a brilliant run from the center circle finished with a shot that went inches wide. Lionel scored a sly free-kick and also showed great defensive spirit, winning many balls off the Atlético defenders. The Argentine star was substituted halfway through the second period to a standing ovation from the Camp Nou crowd.

After this great victory, Barça will take a two-week break to give way to international matches. Leo Messi will join Argentina’s national side for two World Cup qualifying games against Uruguay and Chile.