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Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez spot-on as rampant Barca hammer Celta Vigo

Celta VigoCelta Vigo
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Luis Suarez finished off a collector's item from the penalty spot to score a hat trick as Barcelona hammered Celta Vigo 6-1 with a majestic second-half display.

The Uruguayan side-footed home after Lionel Messi nudged the ball into his path from the penalty spot.

Messi netted his 299th league goal for the Catalans with a brilliant free kick on 28 minutes, but his effort was cancelled out 10 minutes later by John Guidetti's penalty.

Messi then provided a sumptuous assist for Suarez to restore Barca's lead just before the hour mark before setting him up again from the spot. The Uruguayan striker returned to the top of the Primera Division scoring charts thanks to his hat trick, moving on to 25 goals and overtaking Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo.

There was still time for more goals, Ivan Rakitic and Neymar completing the rout late on.

Barca tightened their grip on top spot thanks to a sixth straight league win and can extend their lead over Atletico Madrid to six points on Wednesday if they win their game in hand at Sporting Gijon.

Celta, meanwhile, drop to eighth in the table and must feel aggrieved at the final result, having put in a strong display before being overpowered by the brilliance of Barcelona's feted front three.

Eduardo Berizzo's side were one of just two teams to win at the Camp Nou in all competitions last season and also convincingly beat Luis Enrique's side 4-1 at Balaidos earlier this campaign.

They made an ambitious start, Catalan youngster Josep Sene shooting at goal early on from outside the area, and had another chance to take the lead when Carles Planas' shot was saved superbly by Claudio Bravo.

A couple of minutes later Planas was cautioned for bringing down Suarez outside the area and Messi showed no mercy from the resulting free kick, curling the ball into the near top corner.

Lionel Messi returned to action as Barcelona cruised past Celta Vigo on Sunday.

Celta got back into the game when Jordi Alba tripped Guidetti in the area and the Swede blasted the ball past Bravo.

Barca came out determined in the second half to ensure there would be no repeat of last season's shock defeat, and could have retaken the lead immediately after the restart. Neymar danced past Gustavo Cabral on the left of the area to cut the ball back to Suarez, who struck the top of the near post.

Sergio Alvarez saved another shot from Messi but Barca got back in front through a majestic move between the Argentine and Suarez. The Uruguayan gave it to his teammate in midfield and made for the area, Messi waited patiently before scooping the ball into the box and Suarez lifted it into the roof of the net with one touch.

Still Celta had chances to level again, Guidetti smashing over at the near post after dispossessing Javier Mascherano and Daniel Wass spurning two chances in quick succession, first missing the target, then forcing another fine save from Bravo.

Barca sealed victory when Messi released Neymar, who rounded Alvarez but could only roll the ball along the line, where Suarez was waiting to stab in.

But the party was only just getting started. Cabral cleared a shot from Neymar off the line and then Barca were awarded a penalty as Messi was felled by Jonny Castro.

With his 300th La Liga goal beckoning, Messi stepped up from 12 yards but squared for Suarez to side-foot into the near corner and complete his treble.

The Uruguayan then turned provider, first for Rakitic's goal as the Croatian converted a perfectly weighted pass from out wide.

The only member of the "MSN" strikeforce not to have scored was Neymar, but he soon joined the fun by lifting another Suarez pass over Alvarez to add the sixth.


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