FC Barcelona crack the code, beat Alaves 3-0

It took a bit of time for Barcelona to break down Deportivo Alaves, but goals started coming once Lionel Messi put the ball under the wall for the opening goal. Here are some quick hits from the game:

Coutinho could be the team's second best scorer

While social media was quick to jump on Luis Suarez and the things that he physically can't do anymore, Coutinho's ability to find the back of the net is more of a compliment to him than an indictment of Suarez. The Uruguayan was adventurous with his passing, particularly on the assist for Messi's second goal, but his abilities in front of goal were lacking. For the Brazilian, his long shot-making potential was bought from Liverpool, but the space that he'll now be afforded closer to net by combining with Messi could make him even more lethal. This is a hot take that Suarez will hopefully cool off in a matter of a week, but it isn't a bad thing to have such a weapon in the midfield.

Bountiful options in midfield

The eleven that started the contest featured no new arrivals, and with the depth of the squad this season, competition in the center of the field will be as fierce as many can remember. Arthur and Arturo Vidal entered as the match was being decided and looked better due to the lack of forward-thinking that was required earlier in the match when the team was searching for a goal. Either way, the young Brazilian didn't look out of his depth in his La Liga debut, picking up the assist on Coutinho's goal.

Messi scores 6,000th

It wasn't just about his two goals in the win, one of which was Barcelona's 6,000th in La Liga, but it was back to business as usual for him. The goals, hitting the woodwork twice, and generally outplaying everyone around him. Regardless of what happens in international competitions, Messi is at home in Catalonia and never seems to miss a beat. The gasp heard around the world when Suarez passed behind him and it appeared that he may have injured himself may have been fleeting as he jumped right back up, but as always there is clearly cause for concern for Barcelona if he would ever need to miss some matches.

For the rest of our La Liga predictions for the season, check out the latest edition of The Barcelona Podcast: