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Neymar and Barcelona prove there's more to them than Lionel Messi

Barcelona cruised to a 5-0 win against Sporting Gijon on Saturday afternoon.
Barcelona cruised to a 5-0 win against Sporting Gijon on Saturday afternoon.
Barcelona cruised to a 5-0 win against Sporting Gijon on Saturday afternoon.

Despite spending the last few days lamenting an injury to Lionel Messi, it turns out Barcelona can survive without their Argentine talisman. Neymar led the way with a brace as they turned over Sporting Gijon 5-0 at El Molinon on Saturday, with Luis Suarez, Rafinha and Arda Turan also on target.

There will be tougher tests, of course, such as Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League on Wednesday, but Barca don't need to panic too much about a missing Messi.

Sporting GijónSporting Gijón
BarcelonaBarcelona
0
5
FT
Game Details

Positives

Sergi Roberto's continued...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Schwarzenegger visits Barcelona, snaps Instagram picture with Neymar

Barcelona were paid a special visit on Friday, when movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger stopped by the team's Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper training facility.

Fantastic to kick off the @arnoldsports Europe by meeting a true champion, @neymarjr! Great to see you my friend!

A photo posted by Arnold Schwarzenegger (@schwarzenegger) on

The Austrian action hero and former California governor got chummy with Neymar, spent time with Sergio Busquets and Javier Mascherano,...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Trending: Mourinho wanted to "break Wenger's face," Bauza blasts Barca

He may be the fastest man on earth but can Usain Bolt predict this weekend's Premier League results?
Arsene Wenger reveals he won't read a biography on Jose Mourinho, preferring to focus on on-field matters.
ESPN FC's Raphael Honigstein says it's been a while since Jose Mourinho has been able to connect with his players like he did early in his career.

Here are the latest stories for Friday.

ARSENAL: Jose Mourinho wanted to "break Arsene Wenger's face" according to a new book about the Portuguese boss. The two have clashed plenty of times over their careers, but the revelation came after a spat over Juan Mata's move from Chelsea to Manchester United and Mourinho allegedly told Rob Beasley, author of "Jose Mourinho, Up Close and Personal": "I will find him [Wenger] one day outside a football pitch and I will break his face."

- Arsene...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Trending: Barcelona's Lionel Messi injured, Man United get City in EFL Cup

ESPN FC's Alexis Nunes breaks down the latest from the social media world, including the hysteria over Lionel Messi's injury.
Luis Enrique recalls Barcelona's experience playing without Lionel Messi, and has confidence his team can persevere.
ESPN FC's Paolo Bandini discusses how Lionel Messi's injury in the match against Atletico Madrid will affect Barcelona.

Here are the latest stories for Thursday.

BARCELONA: Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has said football will "lose" without Lionel Messi, after the club confirmed on Wednesday that the Argentine superstar will miss the next three weeks with a groin injury he sustained in their 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid.

Luis Suarez has snapped back at Filipe Luis after the defender uploaded a photo on social media revealing a stud mark supposedly left by the Uruguayan forward.

MAN UNITED: Jose...

Atletico Madrid 'find the dope' in mid-week draw versus Barcelona

ESPN's Toni Collins assesses just how important Lionel Messi is to Barca as he is now sidelined with injury.
ESPN FC's Paolo Bandini discusses how Lionel Messi's injury in the match against Atletico Madrid will affect Barcelona.

BARCELONA -- This era of glory at the Camp Nou has been so extraordinary, so long that some will either forget or not know that there was once a horrible trophy drought between 1999 and 2005, which was only eclipsed in embarrassment by the faulty attitudes and lack of playing excellence during that stretch.

Things began to go right under Frank Rijkaard, and although his version of a "new" Barca wasn't as scintillating or remorseless as those of Pep Guardiola and Luis Enrique, opponents began to...

Defensive lapses bite Barcelona as Atletico Madrid battle for 1-1 draw

ESPN FC's Paolo Bandini discusses how Lionel Messi's injury in the match against Atletico Madrid will affect Barcelona.

Barcelona endured a frustrating night, dropping points and failing to capitalise on Real Madrid's draw with Villarreal, as well as losing Lionel Messi for three weeks because of a groin injury. Atletico Madrid got their tactics spot-on and left Barca no space with which to weave their magic, and a lapse in concentration at the back allowed Angel Correa to cancel out Ivan Rakitic's opener for a 1-1 draw.

BarcelonaBarcelona
Atletico MadridAtletico Madrid
1
1
FT
Game Details

Positives

Although they knew they had the chance to reel that deficit in, at least Barca...