Barcelona’s unbeaten start in La Liga this season continued as they swept aside Deportivo La Coruna 4-0 at the Camp Nou on Sunday.
- Barcelona 4 Deportivo La Coruna 0
- Barca strike woodwork six times
- Braces for Suarez and Paulinho
- Messi penalty saved by Ruben
- Suarez also has goal disallowed
Ernesto Valverde’s side never looked like slipping up against the struggling Galician outfit, who were on the back foot for the majority of the contest in Catalonia.
Luis Suarez got Barca underway in the 29th minute and he scored again early in the second half, while Paulinho also netted in each half to seal a comprehensive victory which took take Barca 11 points clear of Real Madrid ahead of next weekend’s El Clasico.
The hosts were switched on from the start and they should have opened the scoring after just three minutes, but Messi uncharacteristically fired over the crossbar in space from eight yards out.
Depor had a sniff at goal on 11 minutes when Celso Borges scuffed a shot straight at Marc-Andre ter Stegen from 17 yards out, although it was all Barca and Messi after that.
The Argentine ace fired straight at Ruben in the 14th minute after being picked out by Jordi Alba’s cutback and tested the visiting keeper again on 27 minutes from 12 yards out, before Aleix Vidal saw his volley at the back post tipped over seconds later.
Ruben then kept out Messi at the back post from a corner, although he was finally beaten just before the half-hour mark when Suarez converted a square pass from his fellow South American, who chested down Andres Iniesta’s ball over the defence.
The woodwork came to the visitors’ rescue for the first time on 37 minutes when Barca sprung a counter as Messi swapped passes with Suarez before cannoning a shot against the bar from 12 yards out.
Messi would strike the frame of the goal again on 41 minutes, this time from the edge of the box, but Paulinho followed up to tuck home the rebound from a tight angle on the left.
Suarez was denied what appeared to be a legitimate goal on the stroke of half-time when his rabona at the back post looked to have crossed the line as Ruben made the save on his line.
However, the Uruguayan would not be denied as he extended the Blaugrana’s lead two minutes after the restart with a finish at the back post from Sergi Roberto’s low cross from the right.
Carles Gil threatened for Depor 10 minutes into the second half as he fizzed a rising shot into the side-netting from outside the box on the right, but Barca remained in the ascendancy.
Messi hit the base of the right post with a curling free-kick from 25 yards out in the 67th minute and flashed an effort inches with of the other upright seconds later after slick passing in the final third.
Ruben denied Suarez his hat-trick soon afterwards with a save at the striker’s feet when he beat the offside trap to go clean through on goal, and the keeper guessed the correct way on 69 minutes to prevent Messi from getting on the scoresheet from the penalty spot, after Suarez had been brought down by substitute Federico Valverde.
Alba was next to struck the frame of the goal on 75 minutes after being played in on the left by Suarez, but Paulinho was the recipient of another kind bounce as he slotted home on the rebound.
Messi’s battle to find the back of the net continued on 80 minutes when he lashed a shot wide of the left post from just seven yards out after being played in by Vidal, who volleyed wide of the target himself moments later at the back post.
It was Suarez’s turn to strike the woodwork on 84 minutes as he latched onto Messi’s through-ball and hit the outside of the left post from eight yards out on the left, with Depor spared a hammering in the end.