Arda Turan scored a second-half hat-trick as Barcelona took out their domestic frustrations on Borussia Monchengladbach with a 4-0 mauling at the Nou Camp.
Turan made the most of his recall to a much-changed XI by setting up Lionel Messi for Barca’s opener before then taking centre-stage himself with a 17-minute treble after the break.
Only fine goalkeeping from Yann Sommer kept already-qualified Barca from recording an even more emphatic victory as the 2015 winners completed their Champions League group stage in style.
For Monchengladbach, the result meant little in terms of their standing in Group C as they were already assured of third spot and a Europa League place, but it would have done a little to restore some much-needed confidence.
Andre Schubert’s side travelled to Spain without a win in eight Bundesliga matches and having been thrashed 4-1 by Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.
Barca have not been in the best of form themselves recently either.
They came into the match having drawn four of their previous five matches, including conceding a demoralising last-gasp equaliser at home to arch-rivals Real Madrid at the weekend.
That result left Barca six points adrift of Real in La Liga and facing a fight to retain their title, but life in Europe has been much more comfortable for Luis Enrique’s men.
They had won four of five matches to guarantee themselves top spot in Group C coming into the final round of games, and it did not take long for Messi to put them on course for win number five on Tuesday.
He raced into the box and played a one-two with Turan before firing first-time shot past Sommer in the Monchengladbach net to record his 93rd Champions League goal.
That was in the 16th minute and soon after Messi almost made it 2-0, Sommer doing well to push behind a deflected shot from the Argentina star.
Barca continued to push but had to wait until the second half to increase their lead, when Turan scored twice in three minutes — and then three times in 17 — to finish the game off.
The Turkey international’s first goal, which came in the 50th minute, was a far-post header after getting on the end of Denis Suarez’s deflected cross, and his second was a clinical first-time finish from near the penalty spot following a cut-back by Aleix Vidal.
A superb Sommer save prevented Paco Alcacer from adding another goal soon after but rampant Barca did make it 4-0 in the 67th minute as Turan completed his hat-trick.
Again the attack came down Barca’s right, with Alcacer this time providing the pass for an unmarked Turan to slot home at the back post.
More fine goalkeeping from Sommer denied Messi another goal from a diving header but the damage had already been done.
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