Barcelona 6 Real Sociedad 1.

Now, this was the result last night which helped Barcelona claim the second spot in the La Liga points table.

The victory of Atletico Madrid have secured their place at the top, but most importantly, Barcelona are winning and their performance is reminding everyone of the good old days when the Catalans used to win matches in style and ruthless manner.

Last night Sociedad were thrashed and Messi was the man who led from the front.

Obviously, Ronald Koeman deserves a lot of credit for galvanizing a unit that lacked soul not so long ago.

Koeman went with his strongest possible starting XI, which meant starts for Pedri in midfield and Oscar Mingueza in defence, while it was still too premature for center-back Ronald Araujo to re-join the starting XI.

Koeman has switched to a 3-4-3 formation in recent weeks, deploying De Jong at the heart of defence and allowing his wing-backs to pile forward and support attacks.

The first big chance went for Real Sociedad as Alexander Isak got the better of Frenkie de Jong, but Isak was unable to find a way past Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

A minute after a Dest effort was tipped onto the crossbar by Alex Remiro, Griezmann would break the deadlock and hand his side a 1-0 advantage.

Messi played to Jordi Alba on the left, who crossed for Dembele and after his shot was blocked, Griezmann was there to exploit – the floodgates were open.

Right before the half-time – Messi tapped-in a pass to Dest on the right, who hammered a shot home to make it a 2-0 affair.

It was the first-ever La Liga goal for Dest and just the third by the United States international in the Spanish top-flight, and soon enough Dest became the outright leader in goals by US players in La Liga to give Barcelona a 3-0 lead.

Some excellent work from a tightrope-walking Alba ended with a cross that saw Merquelanz’s attempted clearance striking the leg of Dest and caroming into the net.

The change in formation is suiting Dest.

He is far more comfortable attacking than when retreating, Dest has thrived in his new role. Dest’s ability to stretch the opposition defence and create overloads is the key to the way Barca play when in possession. By maintaining his width and control at pace, he is able to cut back-in and poses a threat in front of the goal, and most importantly, he is proving to be a potential goal-scorer.

Barcelona were flying and Messi added his name to the score-sheet just minutes later by collecting a floated ball over the top from Sergio Busquets and toe-poking past Remiro.

Koeman took advantage of the comfortable lead to make some changes, with Ilaix on for Pedri and Araujo for Busquets.

Then, Dembele made it 5-0 with an excellent solo run that was punctuated by a good finish.

Substitute Riqui Puig, who had come on for Griezmann, was part of a slickly-played triangle with Alba and Messi that ended with Messi one-timing in a cut-back pass from the left-back to complete the 6-1 score-line.

It was as if the whole Barca unit was having fun on the pitch and they were playing an exhibition match.

Again, it was the night for more records for Messi who moved one game clear of former midfielder Xavi’s total and has now scored 23 league goals so far this season.

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A great gift by the Barca players to their coach on his birthday.

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