Barcelona got back to their winning ways on Tuesday against Valladolid with a 3-0 win away from home in La Liga play.
Fresh off a 2-2 draw against Valencia, Ronald Koeman made some tactical changes with three in the back against the the bottom feeders. The lineup changes for this week paid off as Martin Braithwaite and Sergino Dest were pushed higher, allowing for more fluid passing and ball movement.
After Barcelona utilized the opening 15 minutes establishing possession in their new formation, they opened the scoresheet in the 21st minute by Clement Lenglet. Valladolid attempted to defend the box but Lionel Messi was able to serve up a floating cross for the defender to head away for the opening goal.
Some great combinations between Miralem Pjanic and Frenkie de Jong to feed Messi led to the second goal for Barcelona where the Argentine was able to pick out Sergino Dest wide. The American was able to send in a blistering cross through the box to the stretched out leg of Braithwaite for Barcelona's second goal.
The first half between the two sides would play out with Barcelona dominating the majority of the game in terms of both possession and passes, looking like threads of familiar dominant Barca teams prior. Strong midfield play from de Jong, Pjanic and Pedri to allow Messi to pull all the strings.
Second half history
Despite Valladolid's efforts to make it a more level match, the momentum and movement from Barcelona's shape was too much to counteract, as the Blaugrana continued to look dangerous in front of goal.
Braithwaite nearly scored a second goal on the day but his attempt was just wide, while it appeared Messi would continue to chase an elusive goal during the second 45 minutes. Messi would finally find the breakthrough just past the hour-mark in the 65th minute for Barcelona's third goal on the day and a historic milestone for the superstar.
The goal marked 644 goals for Messi with Barcelona, breaking the previous all-time record by Brazlian star Pele for most goals ever with a single club.
Leo Messi, Barcelona: The veteran captain was responsible for running the entire show today, and was playing with joy on the pitch for his club as he pulled all the strings connecting with his teammates, recording an assist, and scoring a historic goal. Rating: 9.5
Miralem Pjanic, Barcelona: The Bosnian excelled in the midfield for Barcelona as the team rolled out in a three back. Did well to set tempo and regulate the mid while connecting with Messi and de Jong throughout the match. Rating: 8
Sergino Dest, Barcelona: The American defender put together an impressive shift on the wing for the Catalonian side. He recorded an assist and was involved in generating attacks up the flank while remaining a consistent option out wide for the midfield. Rating: 7.5
The tempo of the match remained in favor of Barcelona. As the match progressed Valladolid struggled to get on the scoreboard, despite a good attempt in the 72nd minute from Orellana.
The win is big for Barcelona as they found success with a knew shape with strong play from rotated players. They still sit in fifth place, but are closing in on a place in the top four with their latest performances week to week. The club will get another chance to build on their performances when they return to action next week on Tuesday, Dec. 29 to face off against Eibar.