Barcelona have made short work of Borussia Mönchengladbach in the Camp Nou. Lionel Messi got the ball rolling before Arda Turan decided that he would rather like to take it home.
Barcelona 4-0 Borussia Mönchengladbach
(Messi 16', Arda Turan 50', 53', 67')
Borussia Mönchengladbach would probably like to wind the clock back to their first Champions League meeting with Barcelona back in September of this year. It was a narrow 2-1 defeat at home, after which Neymar heaped praise upon his countryman, the No. 10, Raffael, and his team.
Gladbach, without Raffael, without a win in weeks and now 13th in the Bundesliga table, looked nothing like the same match for Lionel Messi and friends at Camp Nou.
Jantschke was sometimes a fifth defender, sometimes in front of the back line - but usually stumbling in Messi's wake
With Neymar out of action, Arda Turan reveled in a much more advanced role for Luis Enrique's side, setting up Lionel Messi's first-half opener before bagging a hat trick all of his own after the break.
Andre Schubert fielded a highly defensive side - without the ball a row of five would typically stand in defense, with another four in front of them and Andre Hahn cutting a decidedly isolated figure up top.
Within around 10 minutes, Messi and Arda Turan started picking the lines to pieces. Messi's opener was the upshot of a neat one-two between the them. Messi threaded Turan in behind the lines, and the Turkish player looked up from the byline and cut it back sharply to give the Argentine a shot on goal.
The strike put Messi within one of a Cristiano Ronaldo's scoring record: having netted 11 goals in the group phase. But it would be the Argentine's attacking running mate who would claim the match ball after the break.
Gladbach came out of the dressing room just a little bolder after 45 minutes of caution and the occasional counter - only for Barcelona to immediately punish them.
Five minutes after the break, Turan was on hand to head the second home after preparatory work from Denis Suarez. Three minutes later, Turan connected with a cross from the right.
By the 67th minute, Barca were running riot down the right and Gladbach's marking had also disappeared in the middle. Turan was all alone at the back post to capitalize for his third of the evening, thanks to a delivery from Paco Alcaer.
Barca went into the game assured of the group victory, while Gladbach knew their Europa League fate was assured but their Champions League dreams were already over. As it stands for Andre Schubert and co., though, European fortunes should be the least of the club's worries.