Lionel Messi failed to get on the score sheet as Luis Suarez and Paulinho both scored braces to and Barcelona a convincing 4-0 vctory over Deportivo La Coruna in Saturday's La Liga matchday 16 at Camp Nou.
Goals from Luis Suarez and Paulinho gave Barcelona a comfortable 2-0 lead against their visitors at half-time.
Suarez added Barca's third shortly after the break before Lionel Messi failed to get on the scoresheet following a missed penalty by the Argentine.
the former Tottenham star who was a surprised summer addition to the Camp Nou squad put the game to bed with 15 minutes left on the clock for his sixth La Liga goal since his arrival from CSL outfit Guangzhou Evergrande.
The victory leaves Barcelona six points clear of second-placed Atletico Madrid and 11 points above their fierce rivals Real Madrid who needed a lone strike from Cristiano Ronaldo to edge Gremio in the FIFA Club World Cup final on Saturday. Los Blancs now have an outstanding fixture against Leganes.
SETTING THE SCENE
Andres Iniesta had missed Barca’s last two games with a calf strain, but he returned to face Depor alongside Javier Mascherano, who was named a substitute after having nursed a hamstring injury for the past month.
Paco Alcacer also started with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez up top, but no chances were taken over Busquets, given he was one yellow card away from a ban, which would rule him out of the Clasico against Real Madrid next weekend. His place was filled by Paulinho.
One would have to go back to October 2003 for the last time the Galicians won at Camp Nou, but they famously stayed up with a 2-2 draw on the final day of the 2014-15 campaign and dented the Blaugrana’s title hopes with a 2-1 win on home soil last season.
More to follow..