Luis Suarez hat-trick helps Barcelona dismantle Celta Vigo 6-1
Barcelona beat Celta Vigo 6-1 at the Camp Nou on Sunday night to extend their winning run to 30 games in all competitions. Luis Suarez grabbed a hat-trick while Lionel Messi, Ivan Rakitic and Neymar also got on the scoresheet. John Guidetti scored the only goal for Celta.
Barcelona: Claudio Bravo, Dani Alves, Gerard Pique, Javier Mascherano, Jordi Alba, Sergi Roberto, Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta (C), Neymar, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez
Celta Vigo: Sergio Alvarez, Jonny Otto, Hugo Mallo (C), Gustavo Cabral, Carles Planas, Daniel Wass, Nemanja Radoja, Tucu, Claudio Beauvue, Josep Sene, John Guidetti
The last time these two sides met, Celta Vigo ran out 4-1 winners at the Balaidos in September last year. The Catalan club were seeking revenge against the Galicians were also looking to extend their incredible winning run to 30 matches.
Celta manager Eduardo Berizzo said before the game that if they stayed true to their identity and pressed Barca to win the ball back, they had a chance to win.
"We need to press the right way to win the ball and get it moving vertically," he said. "If you do that at the Camp Nou you can create chances to score."
First Half: Messi gives Barca the lead before late penalty to Celta
The two teams did not disappoint as the match started in a lively manner. Messi kicked things off with a mazy run at the defence much to the crowd's approval before Celta recovered and ensured he couldn't take a shot on goal.
Moments later, Josep Sene had a chance to open the scoring at the other end after Celta pinched the ball from Barca. But his shot from outside the box only whizzed past the post.
10 minutes in, Gustavo Cabrel went into the book for pulling Luis Suarez back giving Messi a chance to try his luck from a free-kick from 20 yards. But the Argentine forward's delivery went just wide.
Messi would, however, be presented with another opportunity just before the half-hour mark after Planas mistimed a sliding tackle on Suarez. This time, the 28-year-old had no problems finding the target after curling it over the wall and beating Sergio to make it 1-0.
But their lead would not last long. Five minutes before half-time, John Guidetti was tripped inside the box by Jordi Alba and the referee did not hesitate in pointing to the spot, as much as the Barca players protested. The former Manchester City man took the penalty he earned and found the bottom corner to equalise.
Half-time: Barcelona 1-1 Celta Vigo
Although Barcelona started the second half the stronger side, Celta had a good shout for a penalty when Guidetti tried to evade Pique inside the box. The ball hit Pique's arm but the referee declined to blow the whistle which left Guidetti furious.
14 minutes after the restart, Barcelona took the lead. With the ball at his feet, Messi looked up to see Suarez making a run and dinked the ball over the defence. The 29-year-old watched the ball all the way and took a first-time shot to beat Sergio.
As the minutes ticked by Wass had a couple of good chances to put Celta level at the other end. His first attempt saw him receive the ball in the box and although he did well to escape the crowd of defenders, his shot was well over the bar. A second attempt minutes later was struck with venom but Bravo was equal to the task and held on to the shot.
Barcelona would then get their third after the trio of MSN combined to score a well-worked goal. Messi started the move with a lightning-quick dribble into the box to feed Neymar with a through ball. The Brazilian forward's low cross rolled towards the far post and Suarez was on hand to tap in.
Celta then rolled over as Suarez completed his hat-trick with a perfectly executed tandem penalty. Neymar was brought down by Jonny and Messi stepped up to take it, only to roll the ball to his right for an on-rushing Suarez to score past a hapless Sergio - his 17th goal in the last 11 games in the league at the Camp Nou.
Luis Suárez: Has scored his third hat-trick in his last 7 apps for Barcelona— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) February 14, 2016
Ivan Rakitic then made it 5-1 when he made a run into the box to lob the goalkeeper. It was a perfect run from the Croatian midfielder to get to the pass from Suarez but not the perfect celebration as he went into the referee's book for taking off his shirt.
Neymar finally got his goal after seeing an earlier attempt saved near the goal line. A cross-field ball from Suarez on a counter-attack was controlled well by the 24-year-old and he let it bounce once before chipping the goalkeeper to male it 6-1.
Two minutes of stoppage time saw no more action and Barcelona finished the game with four goal scorers, all three points and a three-point lead at the top with a game in hand.
Other notable Liga result
Getafe 0-1 Atletico Madrid