La Liga 2016/17: Week 4 round-up part 1 - Barca back to winning ways convincingly

LEGANES, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 17: Lionel Messi (L) celebrates scoring their opening goal with teammate Luis Suarez (2ndL) and Neymar JR. (R) during the La Liga match between Deportivo Leganes and FC Barcelona at Estadio Municipal de Butarque on September 17, 2016 in Leganes, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Messi, Suarez, and Neymar were back to their best

Barca batter Leganés

Barcelona returned to winning ways in La Liga following last week’s shock home defeat to Alavés, hammering Leganés by four goals.

Luis Enrique picked his strongest possible starting XI but Leganés initially took the game to their more celebrated opponents. That wasn’t long lasting, however, as the visitors took the lead on 15 minutes. Leganés were playing a high defensive line and that left them exposed; Lionel Messi opened the scoring with a well-placed shot from a Luis Suarez’ cross, who had initially left Unai Bustinza behind him.

The game continued at a high tempo but Barca were now the dominant force with Suarez doubling the lead just past the half-hour mark. Unai Lopez inadvertently played a pass to Messi, who waltzed passed some hefty challenges before facing home goalkeeper Jon Serantes and feeding Suarez who tapped into the gaping goal.

The result was put beyond doubt a minute before the interval. After fantastic play from Messi in the centre of the pitch, Suarez was played in and this time, the Uruguayan gave Neymar a simple tap-in.

Suarez played a cracking through ball to Neymar ten minutes after the break, Bustinza was beaten but he dragged the Brazilian down. Messi proceeded to lash the resultant penalty into the top right-hand corner.

The fifth goal came when Rafinha got on the ball, cut inside and lashed his effort into the top corner from two yards outside the box.

Gabriel swept home a brilliant free-kick consolation goal for the home team ten minutes from time, but it was merely a footnote as the game had been dominated by Messi, Neymar, and Suarez.

Atletico Madrid much too good for Sporting Gijón

MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 17:  Antoine Greizmann of Club Atletico de Madrid shoots past Fernando Amorebieta of Sporting Gijon during the La Liga match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Real Sporting de Gijon at Vicente Calderon Stadium on September 17, 2016 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Griezmann starred in Atletico’s thumping win

Antoine Griezmann was once again the star man for Atletico Madrid, who hammered Sporting 5-0 at the Vicente Calderón.

The Frenchman opened the scoring less than two minutes into the game with a composed finish from the edge of the area, before scoring his fourth goal in four La Liga games this season on 30 minutes, with a thumping strike into the top corner.

Kevin Gameiro doubled the home side’s lead on five minutes with what was also a cracking effort, curling his strike into the top corner from left of the penalty area.

Atletico were three up on the half hour mark when Koke set up Griezmann 25 yards out. The Frenchman took a couple of touches before ripping a piledriver from a few yards outside the box into the top left-hand corner.

The Euro 2016 top goalscorer was substituted for Fernando Torres midway through the second half and, the former Liverpool man scored within three minutes of coming onto the pitch, poking the ball home from inside the six-yard box following an excellent run from Angel Correa down the left wing.

Torres completed the rout deep in injury time when he placed home a penalty into the bottom left-hand corner after Nico Gaitan was fouled in the box by Lilo.

Eibar and Sevilla can’t be separated despite home side finishing with nine men

Sevilla Eibar
Sevilla’s Luciano Vietto looks on after missing a chance

Sevilla missed the chance to go the top of La Liga after drawing 1-1 at Eibar with the home side having two players sent off.

Sevilla took the lead on 27 minutes when a fine through ball found Luciano Vietto on the edge of the box. He took a touch before finding himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper and then finishing with composure from 12 yards out.

Eibar’s goalkeeper Yoel Rodriguez was then shown a straight red card for tripping Joaquín Correa on the edge of the home side’s penalty area with the Argentinian midfielder clean through on goal in injury time at the end of the first half.

Eibar, however, managed to conjure an equaliser some 19 minutes into the second half. Antonio Lunes found himself in space on the left flank, before whipping a low ball across the face of goal and feeding the unmarked Pedro Leon, who took a touch whilst seemingly having all the time in the world to finish from eight yards out.

Dani Garcia was then shown a straight red card for a very poor tackle from behind on goalscorer Vietto four minutes from time, but the nine men of Eibar held out for a point.

Las Palmas’ penalty pips Malaga

Momo Las Palmas
Momo scored the only goal of the match between Las Palmas and Malaga

Las Palmas moved level on points with La Liga leaders Barcelona and Real Madrid thanks to a narrow 1-0 win over Malaga.

A penalty after just ten minutes from Momo was good enough for Los Amarillos to earn a third league win of the season, while Malaga remain winless.

Momo put the home side ahead from the spot after a tackle from midfielder Jose Recio had upended him.

From there Malaga did their best to get back into the game but it wasn’t until the 80th minute that they created a clear-cut scoring opportunity.

After substitute Youssef En-Nesyri raced down the right flank, he fed Dias Charles inside the six-yard box but the striker could only hammer his effort over the target, when he really should have scored

In injury time, Las Palmas substitute Sergio Araujo nearly made it two when his low effort kissed the post from the edge of the box but Las Palmas had done enough to move onto nine points from four games this season.

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