Messi, Suarez on tar­get as Barcelona rout Getafe

The China Post - - SPORTS - BY JOSEPH WIL­SON

Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez both scored twice as Barcelona thrashed Getafe 6-0 on Tues­day to stay on course to re­claim the Span­ish league ti­tle.

Barcelona’s ninth win in 10 rounds pro­vi­sion­ally lifted it five points clear of Real Madrid be­fore the sec­ond-place side hosts Alme­ria on Wed­nes­day. There will then be four rounds left.

Messi con­verted a ninth- minute penalty earned by Suarez to get Barcelona rolling at Camp Nou be­fore set­ting up the Uruguay striker’s first goal.

Ney­mar was next to get onto the score sheet be­fore Xavi Her­nan­dez and Suarez both struck be­fore half­time.

Messi scored again just af­ter the restart for his 49th goal in 49 games in all com­pe­ti­tions this sea­son.

“When this team is play­ing at this level, it makes it dif­fi­cult for any ri­val,” Barcelona coach Luis Enrique said.

Also, David Moyes’ Real So­ciedad fought back with 10 men for a 1- 1 draw at Ath­letic Bil­bao in a Basque Coun­try derby, while last- place Cor­doba moved one step closer to rel­e­ga­tion af­ter los­ing 1- 0 at Le­vante.

Messi closed the gap with Madrid ri­val Cris­tiano Ron­aldo with his 38th league goal. Ron­aldo leads the do­mes­tic com­pe­ti­tion with 39 goals.

Suarez also con­tin­ued his

strong fin­ish to his first cam­paign with the Cata­lan club by scor­ing his 13th and 14th goals in his last 15 ap­pear­ances, while Ney­mar net­ted his fourth goal in his three- game scor­ing run.

Barcelona’s at­tack­ing trio broke the 100- goal mark for the sea­son, with Ney­mar adding 32 and Suarez 21 to Messi’s haul for a com­bined 102 goals.

Their goals have put Barcelona in con­tention for three ti­tles this sea­son. Po­si­tioned to de­throne Atletico Madrid in the league, Barcelona has reached a Cham­pi­ons League semi­fi­nal against Bay­ern Mu­nich and the Copa del Rey fi­nal against Ath­letic Bil­bao.

“I don’t know if there is a key ( to our suc­cess), there is the com­plete com­mit­ment of the team, our fans, ev­ery­one,” Suarez said. “We are obliged to achieve im­por­tant things and we are fac­ing the crit­i­cal stretch of the sea­son.”

Luis Enrique ro­tated his start­ing 11 with the pacesetters play­ing their sec­ond of three Liga games in an eight­day span as the sea­son reaches its con­clu­sion.

But with Barcelona’s star-stud­ded strike trio in­tact, Getafe never had a chance as the goals came in bunches to quickly put the re­sult be­yond doubt.

Messi chipped in his spot kick “Pa­nenka” style to start the rout when Suarez was tripped by Al­varo Ar­royo just in­side the area.

Af­ter Barcelona

goalie

Clau­dio Bravo back­tracked to swat away Fredy Hine­stroza’s lob, Suarez used an ac­ro­batic ef­fort to sweep in Messi’s lobbed pass in the 25th.

Barcelona’s pres­sure led to Me­hdi Lacen los­ing the ball three min­utes later, and Suarez laid it off for Ney­mar to cut back and slot in Barcelona’s third.

Xavi curled in a long strike on the half- hour mark be­fore he set up Suarez with a deft back- heeled touch, with Suarez us­ing one touch to curve home his shot in the 40th.

Messi added his sec­ond two min­utes af­ter half­time with a strike sim­i­lar to Suarez’s, ex­cept he beat goalie Vi­cente Guaita from the right side of the area as he lifted the ball into the far side of the net.

Hine­stroza was de­nied a con­so­la­tion goal by the wood­work in the 71st. The loss left Getafe in 13th place, right be­hind So­ciedad.

Bil­bao went a goal up and ben­e­fited from an ex­tra man af­ter So­ciedad de­fender Mikel Gon­za­lez was shown a straight red card for foul­ing Aritz Aduriz, giv­ing the striker the chance to con­vert a penalty in the 52nd.

But left back Al­berto de la Bella looped in a dif­fi­cult shot eight min­utes later to equal­ize for the vis­i­tors at San Mames Sta­dium.

Le­vante moved six points from dan­ger af­ter Vic­tor Casadesus set up striker David Bar­ral for the 41st- minute win­ner, keep­ing Cor­doba win­less in 16 rounds.

AP

Barcelona’s Ney­mar, from Brazil, cen­ter, con­trols the ball dur­ing a Span­ish La Liga soc­cer match be­tween F.C. Barcelona and Getafe at the Camp Nou sta­dium in Barcelona on Tues­day, April 28.

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