Lionel Messi scored a marvellous hat-trick as Barcelona got their Champions League campaign up and running with a 4-0 win over PSV at Camp Nou.
Barca were off the pace for much of the first half of Tuesday's Group B clash, but Messi broke the deadlock with a trademark free-kick.
They moved through the gears after the restart but found PSV dogged in defence, with two further excellent goals needed to make the points safe.
Ousmane Dembele doubled the lead with an outstanding individual effort and Messi fittingly had the final say, completing his hat-trick by scoring either side of a red card for Samuel Umtiti.
PSV had the better of the opening stages and Gaston Pereiro powered a shot over the bar and Steven Bergwijn curled narrowly wide on the counter with Philippe Coutinho heading over at the other end.
Luis Suarez fired into the side-netting as the hosts struggled to find their rhythm but a surging run forward from Dembele led to the free-kick from which Messi sparked them into life.
Dembele was fouled by Nick Viergever and Messi nonchalantly curled the ball into the top-right corner beyond a helpless Jeroen Zoet.
PSV, to their credit, did not allow the floodgates to open in the immediate aftermath, though a flying Zoet save was required to tip over a curling effort from Coutinho two minutes before the hour mark.
Zoet was beaten all ends up as Suarez dug out a marvellous lob from the edge of the area, only for the Uruguay international to be cruelly denied by the bar.
But Barca's second did eventually come in similarly superb style.
Dembele wonderfully turned two PSV players before running into space and unleashing a right-footed effort that beat the outstretched arm of Zoet, who was soon picking the ball out of his net again, as Barca finished with a flourish.
Ivan Rakitic lifted a delicate ball over the PSV backline that Messi dispatched with a fine first-time finish on the run to make it 3-0 and, after Umtiti received a second yellow for impeding Hirving Lozano, he latched on to a clever Suarez flick and emphatically capped off his treble.
What does it mean: Messi fires early warning to European rivals
Barca have taken a backseat to arch rivals Real Madrid in the Champions League in the last three seasons, last term's stunning loss to Roma marking their third successive quarter-final exit, and for long periods they offered little to suggest a challenge is forthcoming this season. However, Messi took the game by the scruff of the neck in the second half, delivering a reminder, as if one were needed, that this is a team that can put any opponent to the sword.
Pat on the back: Another terrific treble from Messi
Dembele deserves credit for an excellent showing, but Messi's otherworldly numbers speak for themselves. His hat-trick was the 48th of his career and his eighth in the Champions League, more than any other player in the competition's history. He has also now scored more Champions League goals than PSV as a club, scoring 103 to their 102. This was a vintage display from an incredible player who shows no sign of slowing down.
Boot up the backside: Coutinho lacking cutting edge
As Messi and Suarez edge towards the latter stages of their careers, Coutinho will eventually need to take on some of the goalscoring burden, but he was wasteful when opportunities presented themselves and found Zoet in fine form when he did hit the target.
Key Opta stats:
8 - Lionel Messi has scored more hat-tricks than any other player in Champions League/European Cup history. Mesmeric. pic.twitter.com/7kbEUCk8bb— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 18, 2018
- Barcelona have won 25 of their last 27 Champions League games at Camp Nou (W25 D2 L0), with their last defeat there dating back to May 2013 against Bayern Munich (0-3).
- PSV have not won any of their last nine matches in the Champions League (D4 L5).
- Barcelona’s Lionel Messi has scored versus 30 different Champions League sides, only Raul (33) and Cristiano Ronaldo (32) have scored against more different opponents.
- Messi has scored eight direct free-kicks in 2018 - the most he has netted in a calendar year.
Barcelona welcome neighbours Girona to Camp Nou as their attentions turn to maintaining their perfect LaLiga start. PSV's 100 per cent record figures to be more severely challenged as they take on second-placed Ajax in a mouth-watering Eredivisie clash.
|Patriots RB Michel out against Bears with gruesome knee injury|
|Kohli hails Rohit partnership after comprehensive India victory|
|Silva downplays his role after Everton super subs seal victory|
|Injured Bairstow out of final white-ball matches in Sri Lanka|
|Pliskova feeling confident after impressive start in Singapore|
|Big-hitting Imrul rescues Bangladesh in opening ODI|
|Leinster suffer late defeat at Toulouse, Newcastle snatch dramatic victory|
|Chargers pip Titans to dramatic London win|
|Everton 2 Crystal Palace 0: Substitutes Calvert-Lewin and Tosun clip Eagles´ wings|
|Thunderstorms push Andalucia Valderrama Masters into reserve day|
|Edmund masters Monfils to claim maiden singles title|
|Kohli and Rohit fire India to comprehensive ODI win|
|Manchester United didn´t play - David Luiz blasts Mourinho tactics|
|Svitolina out to silence ´haters´ in Singapore|
|Emre Can facing surgery on thyroid problem|
|Tsitsipas claims maiden ATP crown in Stockholm|
|Mariners boss Mulvey knows nothing of Bolt contract offer|
|WATCH: Vinicius Junior scores free-kick - then sees red!|
|Gronkowski ruled out of Bears clash|
|Khachanov enjoys home comforts with comprehensive Kremlin Cup win|
|Isner wants Wimbledon tie-break rule named after him|
|Hummels lauds ´outstanding´ Lewandowski|
|Liverpool´s defensive improvement no accident – Gomez|
|Pliskova overpowers defending champion Wozniacki in Singapore|
|Marquez dislocates shoulder celebrating MotoGP title|
|Henry taking positives from opening Monaco defeat|
|A-League Review: Mariners held as Bolt considers move|
|Dominant Svitolina ends Kvitova hoodoo in Singapore|
|Pereira warns Juventus to expect ´pumped up´ Manchester United|
|D´Antoni backs NBA to ´sort out´ Lakers-Rockets brawl|
|Mixed feelings for champion Marquez after Dovizioso crash|
|Bolt offered contract by Central Coast Mariners|
|Anthony accuses Rondo of spitting after Lakers-Rockets brawl|
|Martial insists he has good relationship with Mourinho|
|Bautista to replace Lorenzo at Phillip Island|
|Emery wanted Lacazette at Paris Saint-Germain|
|Wallabies centre Hodge suffers fractured ankle|
|Koepka claims top ranking with CJ Cup win|
|Dramatic Dovizioso crash gifts Marquez MotoGP title in Japan|
|LeBron´s home debut ends in defeat, Walker makes NBA history|
|Rondo, Ingram and Paul exchange punches in Lakers-Rockets clash|
|Dodgers to face Red Sox in World Series after beating Brewers|
|Valverde doesn´t care about extending Barca contract|
|Qualifying speed a ´positive surprise´ for Ferrari´s Vettel|
|I was in a different headspace – Hamilton revels in Austin pole|
|Barcelona can cope without Messi – Pique|
|Allegri: Juventus abandoned Genoa clash|
|Sale: Hospital visit was because of belly button ring|
|Valverde accepts Barcelona will miss Messi|
|No Messi or Ronaldo in El Clasico for first time since 2007|
|Barcelona have not won a Clasico without Messi since his debut|
|Ramos calls for Real Madrid unity after latest loss piles pressure on Lopetegui|
|Hamilton has title in sights after storming to Austin pole|
|Inter, El Clasico and more - the games Messi will miss with broken arm|
|End of Messi-Ronaldo duel good for LaLiga - Simeone|
|Messi out of Clasico with fractured arm|
|Awesome Ashton marks Sale bow with hat-trick|
|Klopp hopes for positive Henderson prognosis amid Liverpool injury issues|
|Benitez ´convinced´ Newcastle can survive despite seventh defeat|
|Barcelona 4 Sevilla 2: Messi injured but champions go top|
|Kovac relieved by Bayern´s timely victory|
|Strasbourg 2 Monaco 1: Sy howler and Grandsir red card cost Henry in first match|
|Leicester City defender Chilwell signs new six-year contract|
|PSG´s Tuchel hopes Verratti and Di Maria can face Napoli|
|Liverpool star Salah had no fear during scoring drought|
|Alonso´s 2019 plans not damaged by McLaren´s IndyCar decision|
|Edinburgh outclass troubled Toulon, Wasps and Bath play out thrilling draw|
|Barca concern as Messi substituted with worrying arm injury|
|Howe: South coast derby draw a fair result|
|Our heads were in Manchester – Allegri left fuming at Juventus´ loss of focus|