Around 24 hours after Cristiano Ronaldo scored three goals to help Real Madrid to a comfortable victory in Turkey, his nemesis in the north-east of Spain tipped his own hat trick in response; Lionel Messi last night weaving his signature into Barcelona's perfunctory win against Ajax.
It would perhaps offer some solace to Celtic to hear of the Dutch side being pulled apart as though having been strapped to the rack inside Camp Nou. The Glasgow club will have sized up Group H and guessed they have better chance of being given an inch against Ajax than they will in matches with the Catalans.
Barca were miles ahead last night. Messi duly led the charge - caressing a fine free-kick after just 21 minutes, before scoring his second 10 minutes after the break. He was joined by three team-mates as they cut his way towards the Ajax goal, Messi demanding possession as he galloped into the penalty area and clipping a shot into the corner. Not to be outdone by his Real counterpart, he would score his third 20 minutes later.
The goal was a sight to behold, not least as it completed a record fourth hat trick in the Champions League. The Argentine has scored 62 goals in the competition, and counting.
Ajax were simply along for the ride in Barcelona - Gerard Pique managing to squeeze in a goal to put the home side 3-0 ahead, before goalkeeper Victor Valdes also got in on the act, saving Kolbeinn Sigthorsson's penalty late on.