With top spot in Group C already sealed, Barcelona boss Luis Enrique had the freedom to field a much changed line-up from the Clasico against a beleaguered Borussia Mönchengladbach side that had last tasted victory back in October.
Despite making significant changes to the line-up, Barcelona cruised to a comfortable 4-0 victory over German opponents Borussia Mönchengladbach aided by a hat-trick from Arda Turan to sit 6 points clear at the top of Group C. The Turkish winger with his trio of strikes joined an exclusive group of Barcelona legends to have secured a hat-trick at the biggest stage in European football. This was the first all of Barcelona’s six summer signings featured together in a single game.
🔴🔵 #FCB XI
21. A. Gomes
22. Aleix Vidal
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) December 6, 2016
Lionel Messi scored the first goal on the night assisted by Turan to send the Blaugrana into the lead. There was little action that followed as the game ended 1-0 at half-time. In a flourishing start to the second half, Turan scored a 17 minute hat-trick to give his side a 4-0 lead after 67 minutes. It was yet another night of domination from the Catalan side whose only complaint can be that they did score more against a hapless Gladbach outfit, who had all but a solitary shot on goal.
Hat-trick con el Barcelona en Champions League:
> ARDA TURAN
— MisterChip (Alexis) (@2010MisterChip) December 6, 2016
Arda at the Camp Nou today. pic.twitter.com/N0TY2WVkk3
— ⚽Barca Cule⚽ (@Tapouthepp) December 7, 2016
— Photos of Football (@photosofootball) December 6, 2016
Arda Turan this season in Champions League.
9 shots – 4 goals
— Leo Messi (@messi10stats) December 6, 2016
Arda Turan joins quite the list of Barcelona players with a Champions League hat trick:
Messi, Neymar, Eto’o, Ronaldinho, Rivaldo
— Paul Carr (@PCarrESPN) December 6, 2016
If Arda can do this at LW without losing the ball 100 times in the process, then Neymar should really think about his decision making.
— Josip (@jperkovic93) December 6, 2016
Arda Turan becomes the third player from Turkey to score a CL hat-trick after Burak Yilmaz (2012) and Tuncay Sanli (2004). #UCL
— Gracenote Live (@GracenoteLive) December 6, 2016
Arda hat-trick pic.twitter.com/nZCnke3VZV
— Â D I L (@Barzaboy) December 6, 2016
Arda Turan has more goals vs Gladbach than Cristiano Ronaldo has in this Champions League season.
— Rafael Hernández (@RafaelH117) December 6, 2016
Hate it when Arda plays well. Makes Lucho think he can play anywhere.
PS: Neymar’s role needs simplicity. Arda keeps proving it.
— #YoViJugarAMessi (@MoRosement) December 6, 2016
Just clicked: Barça’s six summer signings all started (Cillessen, Umtiti, Digne, Gomes, Denis, Alcacer) + two from last year (Arda, Vidal).
— Sam Marsden (@samuelmarsden) December 6, 2016
Aleix Vidal has come in for much criticism for his performances this season and it can be argued that at times the player has been heavily scrutinized more for his inability to match the legendary Dani Alves at his duties. That said, the Spaniard had a good outing on the night against the Germans and may have done enough to leave a seed of doubt in Luis Enrique’s mind, who up until now genuinely seemed convinced he wanted to sell the player as early as January.
Luis Enrique on Aleix Vidal: “He was spectacular. Above all, he proved to be in great physical condition.” pic.twitter.com/3wd2beTveW
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) December 6, 2016
It was a great performance from Aleix Vidal tonight. 👏🏻 pic.twitter.com/aGWK30OtwD
— Leo Messi 🔟 (@WeAreMessi) December 6, 2016
Aleix Vidal, who has barely featured on the pitch this season, was one of the stand-outs. Gives attack and width which eases job in middle.
— Sergi Domínguez (@FutbolSergi) December 6, 2016
Aleix Vidal and Denis Suarez are having an excellent game. Wonder how Lucho is feeling watching Vidal’s performance….
— El Maestro (@ElMaestrofcb) December 6, 2016
Aleix Vidal playing well, early sets up Messi but his shot is deflected wide.
— SPORT English (@Sport_EN) December 6, 2016