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Barcelona put five past Las Palmas as Lionel Messi nets another record

Lionel Messi

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Lionel Messi eventually found the back of the net after the restart before Suarez notched his second, with Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal also scoring to wrap up a comfortable victory for the Catalan club.

Barcelona moved up to second as they thumped Las Palmas 5-0 at the Nou Camp to remind Real Madrid they remain very much in the title race.

Luis Suarez opened the scoring as the champions produced a dominant performance that could have seen them out of sight by half-time, were it not for rare display of poor finishing.

Victory took them above Sevilla and to within two points of Real, but the capital club have two games in hand on their bitter rivals. The first of those, on Sunday, is away to Sevilla.

Going into the match, Lionel Messi had scored three free-kicks in his last three matches, but the Argentinian spurned his first chance when he blazed a 25-yard set-piece high and wide in the second minute.

The hosts dominated possession in the opening exchanges, with Las Palmas camped in their own half as Barca started to turn the screw.

It was not long before the Catalans broke the deadlock when Andre Gomes escaped the offside trap on the right wing before driving in a low cross which found Suarez around the penalty spot and he fired past goalkeeper Javi Varas at his near post.

The pressure continued from the home side, with Rafinha skipping past two defenders before laying the ball off to Suarez, but his shot was well blocked by defender Mauricio Lemos.

Turan sparked another quick counter-attack before playing a neat reverse pass to Suarez, who instantly clipped the ball to Gomes at the back post, but he could only shoot straight at Varas.

Gomes missed another glorious chance to double their lead when he latched on to a scooped pass from Sergio Busquets and flashed a shot wide from six yards.

Las Palmas had a rare chance as they capitalised on a mistake from the home defence, with the ball working its way to Jonathan Viera, but the 27-year-old forward’s effort was off target.

Lionel Messi forced Varas into a great save to keep out his 20-yard free-kick before he dispossessed Lemos with only the goalkeeper to beat, but the 34-year-old did well to save down to his left and keep the scores at 1-0 at half-time.

Kevin Prince Boateng had two opportunities for Las Palmas, with an overhead-kick trickling well wide from 20 yards and then a header flying over the top.

That sparked Barcelona back into their action, with Suarez playing a lovely chipped through-ball to put Lionel Messi, who blasted wide from 12 yards.

 Barcelona finally found a second goal in the 52nd minute when Rafinha got to the byline and fired in a cross which was spilled, under no pressure, by Varas, leaving Messi to tap into an empty net.

In their next meaningful attack a moment of magic saw Suarez double his tally as he dragged the ball away from an oncoming defender before curling a shot into the bottom right corner, leaving Varas no chance.

Two minutes later, Suarez broke through again only to be denied a hat-trick by Varas, but Turan was quickest to react to the rebound and slotted home past two despairing defenders.

Boateng almost grabbed a consolation for the visitors, but he could only shoot straight at Marc-Andre ter Stegen, giving the Barcelona keeper his first save of the match after 76 minutes.

Instead, Barcelona grabbed a fifth as substitute Paco Alcacer cut the ball back for Vidal to score.

Credit:@ESPNFC

 

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