LaLiga: Barcelona thrash Girona to remain 16points clear of Real Madrid


LaLiga: Barcelona thrash Girona to remain 16points clear of Real Madrid

The starting whistle was still ringing in fans' ears when Portu shocked the home crowd with a goal for Girona.

Coutinho then brought the Camp Nou back to life with a sensational right footed strike after cutting in from the left flank which saw the ball fly into the top right corner as Barca began to run riot. He aimed a ball towards Portu, and he took advantage of some hesitancy from Samuel Umtiti to fire a shot from a tight angle which clipped the post and flew in.

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde admitted that Lionel Messi never fails to surprise him as the Argentine maestro scored twice, including a cheeky freekick, in the 6-1win over Girona. Within five minutes the match was 1-1 and the atmosphere in Camp Nou was electric.

It was the flawless outing for Barcelona after ninth-placed Girona had taken a shock early lead on their first-ever visit to the Camp Nou, as Coutinho, Suarez, Messi and Ousmane Dembele shone on their first start together.

Their lead was short-lived as Messi set up Suarez to equalise.

Barca continued to push for more goals and went close in the opening 10 minutes of the second half through Suarez and Messi.

Suarez then finished off a sweeping counter-attack involving Messi and Coutinho from five yards to make it 4-1 just before the interval. He eyed the Girona wall and placed a quick shot at their feet. Suarez took one touch before easily netting a score under Girona keeper Bono.

Valverde, who thought he might have become accustomed to Messi's brilliance, has admitted the forward's latest trick left him stunned.

The Catalan club has impressed in its debut season in the first division, and lost only once in the six games prior to Saturday.

He told Movistar; "Leo is awesome".

"We were nervous from the start and they were very sharp". They pressed up high, and as soon as we surpassed that early pressure, we had chances to score.

"It's hard to get used to these things", the Spanish tactician said, according to the Daily Express. Just when you think you've seen everything from Messi, he surprises you, like his free kick, which looked easy but was very hard to execute. "Messi feels a great responsibility for the team and he took it on during the early part of the game".

"Coutinho and Dembele? Both players can help us".

Barcelona, who are now 10 points clear at the top of the league, face Las Palmas next on March 1.

The league tweeted that Messi's assist set an all-time record for a player in the Primera Division, though that could not be confirmed with available data.



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