The third date of the 2008/09 Spanish football league saw FC Barcelona claim their first win in the competition as they crushed (6-1) Sporting Gijon away from home this evening.

The crowd at the Molinón stadium witnessed a one-sided game as Pep Guardiola’s men dictated the play from the start to the end. The first half finished 2-0 for Barça with strikes from Xavi and Eto’o. Right after the break Jorge made it 3-0 with an own goal, but Sporting immediately scored through Maldonado and put Barça in trouble for some minutes. However, the away side soon regained control of the situation and ended up getting three more goals.

Lionel Messi, who played the entire game, was given freedom to change his position across the attacking line. The Argentine star used his speed and ability to find ways through the Sporting defence, linking up especially well with Andrés Iniesta, who had an excellent performance. Messi was particularly brilliant in the second period, when he gave a fantastic assist to Iniesta for Barça’s fourth strike and then scored the team’s last two goals himself, taking a close-range volley in the fifth and a header in the sixth to finish off two great team moves.

The following league round will be played in mid-week, with Barça facing Betis at the Camp Nou on Wednesday.

You can watch Leo Messi’s goals in the game against Sporting Gijón here.