Luis Suarez scored four as Barcelona returned to the La Liga summit with a 6-0 win over 10-man Sporting Gijon at the Nou Camp on Saturday night.
- Barcelona 6 Sporting Gijon 0
- Messi heads home on 12 minutes
- Suarez scores four second-half goals
- Vranjes red-carded as Gijon reduced to 10 men
- Neymar also scores from the penalty spot
Lionel Messi put Barca in front early on before Luis Suarez took his tally for the season to 53 with four second-half goals – just days after also netting four against Deportivo La Coruna.
Neymar also got in on the act as the Catalan club encountered very little resistance from the visitors in a one-sided clash.
[FULL TIME | FINAL] FC Barcelona vs Sporting de Gijón (6-0) 11' Messi 63' Luis Suárez 74' Luis Suárez 77' Luis Suárez 85' Neymar Jr 87' Luis Suárez — All about the match at www.fcbarcelona.com Tot sobre el partit a www.fcbarcelona.cat Todo sobre el partido en www.fcbarcelona.es #FCBSporting #FCBLive #LaLiga ⚽?? Força Barça!
Barca took control from the outset, Messi enjoying a chance as early as two minutes in, but his header lacked accuracy and sailed over the goal.
It was Gijon, however, who should have taken the lead after 11 minutes. Guerrero decided to square the ball to Menendez rather than shoot himself, but the latter hit his effort straight at Claudio Bravo in goal.
The visitors were to pay the price for their miss only a minute later as Messi headed in a looped effort over Pichu Cuella and into goal, after the keeper had made a hash of trying to deal with Andres Iniesta’s clever ball over the top.
Messi nearly had a second goal in the 16th minute, but this time Cuella did well to make the save, using his right leg to clear the Argentine’s shot from inside the box.
A couple of opportunities for the visiting team followed, but Roberto Canella’s driven effort flashed just past the left-hand upright and Alex Mendendez failed to convert at the back post after a superb ball by Pablo Perez.
Luis Enrique’s side ended the half strongest, however, as Luis Suarez blazed over the bar before Neymar went one-on-one with Cuellar after a brilliant pass by Messi, only to shoot straight at the goalkeeper.
The half ended in controversy when Gerard Pique appeared to handle the ball on his own line, only for the defender to somehow escape punishment.
The home side continued their dominance after the restart, Suarez’s 50th-minute lob failing to beat Cuellar after a great combination between Neymar and Messi, the latter also going close five minutes later after a typical mazy run.
There was, however, no denying the second goal, Suarez with a simple finish for his 50th of the season after Messi had played Iniesta into space on the left-hand side of goal in the 63rd minute.
There was only going to be one winner on the evening and this was all but confirmed when Suarez netted two penalties in the space of three minutes.
A third spot-kick was to follow as Neymar made it 5-0 on 86 minutes after a foul on the Brazilian by Ognjen Vranjes, who was red-carded for his troubles.
Suarez wrapped it up two minutes from time when he tapped in after latching onto a neat pass from Messi.
The goal saw the Uruguayan replace Christiano Ronaldo as the top goalscorer in Spain this season, with 53 to his name, three more than the Real Madrid player.
Luis Suárez: "Being top scorer, if it happens, is welcome but it is not an obsession. The most important thing is the league" Luis Suárez: "El 'Pitxitxi', si arriba, serà benvingut, però no és cap obsessió. L'important és la Lliga" Luis Suárez: "Si llega el Pichichi será bienvenido, pero no es una obsesión. Lo importante es la Liga" #Suarez #FCBarcelona @luissuarez9 @fcbarcelona ⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️ ✖️2️⃣
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) April 23, 2016