Luis Suarez, Neymar and Lionel Messi fired Barcelona to a comfortable 4-0 victory over Real Sociedad in La Liga at the Camp Nou on Saturday.
- Barcelona 4, Real Sociedad 0
- Suarez scores 12th of the season
- Neymar takes his tally to 14
- Messi scores his ninth
- Sociedad rarely threaten
As expected, Barcelona dominated the match from the first whistle and took the lead after 22 minutes when Neymar tapped in from close range.
Suarez produced a stunning half-volley shortly before half-time to take the scores to 2-0 before Neymar ended the match as a contest with another simple finish shortly after the break.
Barcelona completed the rout in the 90th minute when Messi scored in his first La Liga match after four months out injured.
The hosts had won nine and drawn one of their last ten matches heading into Saturday’s game, and would have been heavily favoured to pick up another win against 14th–placed La Real.
Luis Enrique was unable to field midfielder Sergi Roberto, after he picked up a knock in Tuesday’s 6-1 win against Serie A side Roma in the Champions League.
Roberto’s absence didn’t seem to slow the Blaugrana down at all; as they came close to scoring after just four minutes, when Neymar played in Suarez and the latter’s low shot was saved by Sociedad goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli.
Barcelona almost took the lead again just nine minutes later, when skipper Andres Iniesta met a cross from Suarez at the far post and directed a header into the post, with Rulli seemingly beaten.
The inevitable goal finally came in the 22nd minute when Dani Alves rolled a low cross to Neymar, and the Brazilian made no mistake from close range.
Alves was involved again when Barcelona doubled the lead 20 minutes later; this time floating a cross over the defence to Suarez at the far post.
The Uruguayan produced a spectacular finish to beat Rulli; leaving the ground to lash a half volley into the far corner and send his side into half time with a comfortable lead.
Alves’ left-sided counterpart Jeremy Mathieu was the provider when Barca stretched their lead to three in the 53rd minute.
Iniesta found the leftback in space in the final third, and Mathieu rolled a cross into the box for the arriving Neymar to tap in.
With the match all but won, the hosts stepped off the gas for several minutes before turning what would have been a comfortable victory into a rout with another goal in the 90th minute.
Neymar turned provider this time; cutting in off the left flank, offloading possession and taking a pass after a clever run into the box.
His square ball to Messi was perfectly placed, and the Argentine passed the ball into the net to rub salt in Real Sociedad’s wounds.