Barcelona breeze past Depor in La Liga
Madrid, Oct 16 (IANS) Spanish football club Barcelona warmed up for next week's Champions League clash at home to Manchester City with a comfortable 4-0 home win over Deportivo la Coruna on an afternoon when Leo Messi returned to action.
Barcelona on Saturday started the game with fit-again Messi on the subs' bench and with a three-man defence to allow Lucas Digne and Arda Turan to play as wing backs with Rafinha given a free role,reports Xinhua.
Although Barca struggled for rhythm against a rival who looked to pressure them high up the park, chances came with relative ease, with Neymar hitting a volley against the crossbar before Rafinha opened the scoring in the 22nd minute.
He won the ball on the edge of the Deportivo area before exchanging passes with Luis Suarez and firing a low shot past German Lux.
The Brazilian was on hard to double Barca's lead on the half hour, pouncing on a loose ball after Lux had done well to block a Gerard Pique header, all be it with a suspicion of offside.
Suarez scored Barca's third before the break after a dummy and low shot in the Deportivo area and was unlucky to not score a fourth when another shot hit the woodwork in first half injury time.
With the game all-but won, Barca coach Luis Enrique took the opportunity to rest Suarez and bring on Paco Alcacer at halftime, while Messi came into the game 10 minutes into the second half.
He needed just two minutes before putting Barca 4-0 with a left foot shot after an almost telepathic pass from Neymar to once again leave Lux helpless.
Deportivo were reduced to 10 men with 25 minutes remaining when Laure was shown a direct red card after elbowing Neymar in the face and Barca pinned them deeper and deeper back.
Alcacer saw a header tipped onto the post before volleying straight at Lux when set up by Pique and the Deportivo keeper also provided a flying save to deny Messi adding a fifth.