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Barca 6-1 Girona: Kayode escapes Messi and Suarez whips

La Liga By: Ambrose Udeme | 24/02/2018

Super Eagles forward Olarenwaju Kayode was spared Saturday's humiliation at Camp Nou as his Spanish outfit Girona received a thorough 6-1 beating at the hands of La Liga leaders Barcelona with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez running the show.

The Nigeria international who has bagged 12 appearances for Girona since arriving at the club on loan from Manchester City was not named in the matchday squad for this encounter.

GOALS

A first-half brace each from Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez put Barcelona out of sight at halftime despite Girona taking the lead through Portu, three minutes into the game. The hosts were stunned at Camp Nou as Girona took the lead inside three minutes. Some poor defending from Samuel Umtiti allowed Portu to clip home the opener.

Fortunately, the lead did not last long as Messi released Luis Suarez who fired home clinically from inside the box. The Argentine scored on the half-hour mark to put Barca in front before adding his second for Barca's third of the night six minutes later. Suarez completed the first half rout one minute from after being set up by Barca's record signing Philippe Coutinho.

After the break, Coutinho added Barca's fifth, this time Suarez who benefited from the Brazilian's assist for his second goal of the game was the provider.

Suarez who was trailing Messi by three goals in the race for this season's Pichichi scored his first league hat trick of the season 14 minutes from time to confirm Barcelona's territorial supremacy. The win sends Barcelona ten points clear of second-placed Atletico Madrid who are away to Sevilla on Sunday. 

SETTING THE SCENE

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde dropped four stars for their first-ever Catalan derby against Girona at Camp Nou, including Yerry Mina, Paco Alcacer, Denis Suarez and Andre Gomes.

Barca’s official website noted the quartet had been dropped on technical grounds, but Thomas Vermaelen who was back in the squad after recovering from a muscle problem started from the bench.

Valverde opted for a front four of Messi, Suarez, Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele.

Further back, Gerard Pique was able to shrug off his latest injury niggle to start alongside Samuel Umtiti.

Barcelona welcome deaf-blind supporter Jose to the Camp Nou

Before kick-off at the Camp Nou, Colombian football fan Jose Richard was offered the opportunity to fulfil his dream of experiencing a Blaugrana match at the famous stadium.

Richard was registered deaf-blind and in order to know what was happening on the pitch he relied upon Cesar Daza, his aid, who uses a special form of language with his hands.

After being born with a low hearing capacity, the Colombian lost his hearing completely at nine years of age before fully losing his sight when he was 15.

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