Suarez, Paulinho both score twice as Barcelona thrash Depor
Barcelona 4 - 0 Deportivo La Coruna

Suarez, Paulinho both score twice as Barcelona thrash Depor

17/12/2017

Luis Suarez and Paulinho each scored twice as Barcelona tuned up for next week's Clasico with a handsome 4-0 win over Deportivo La Coruna.

With a trip to Real Madrid coming on Dec. 23, Barca overwhelmed their visitors at the Nou Camp, with all four finishes coming inside the six-yard box and enough good chances to have at least doubled their eventual tally.

Lionel Messi somehow failed to join his teammates on the scoresheet, hitting the woodwork on three separate occasions and missing several inviting chances including a second-half penalty saved by Ruben Martinez.

Victory puts Ernesto Valverde's side two wins clear of second-placed Atletico Madrid and 11 points ahead of Real with a game in hand.

It took just a couple of minutes for Barca to hit their stride, Suarez and Iniesta slicing open Depor to fashion a chance which Messi volleyed over.

Suarez had the ball over the line soon after, only for an offside flag against Paco Alcacer to spoil his fun, though Messi failed to find sufficient bite when teed up by Jordi Alba.

An injury to Alcacer left Barca a man short while Aleix Vidal prepared to enter the game but the relief did not last long for Depor, whose only replies involved Lucas Perez trying to fight the tide with minimal support.

Midway through the half the hosts laid siege to the box, starting when Messi warmed Ruben Martinez's palms from 20 yards.

Vidal did not commit to his far-post volley but a goal was inevitable and Iniesta provided the ammunition with a perfectly weighted chip over the top. Messi controlled and waited just long enough for Suarez to return from an inactive offside position to leave the Uruguayan a point-blank finish.

Messi pelted the crossbar and post within a four-minute spell, though the latter scenario saw Paulinho guide the rebound home despite an unfriendly angle and pressure from Sidnei.

An electric one-two between Suarez and Messi should have ended in a third just before half-time but Suarez's close-range "rabona" finish was fended away by a sprawling Martinez.

By the time he got his gloves on the ball he did appear to be well behind the line but in the absence of goal-line technology, the referee refused to uphold Suarez's celebrations.

He did not have long to wait to restart them, clipping in at the far post within two minutes of the restart to cap Sergi Roberto's precise cross from the right.

The visitors were all but devoid of fight, Carles Gil launching a rare and unsuccessful effort on Marc-Andre ter Stegen's goal.

At the other end Messi was foiled again and again, hitting the woodwork for the third time with a bending free kick then seeing a weak penalty saved by Martinez. Suarez had won the spot-kick from Federico Valverde but deferred to his colleague despite the possibility of a hat-trick.

Paulinho made it four in the 75th minute, sniffing out and converting another ricochet off the post from Alba's original effort.

But the goal refused to come for Messi, who missed another glorious opening in a closing period that could have yielded a further three goals.

Related news

Lionel Messi stellar in Barcelona win as Luis Suarez nets hat trick

Lionel Messi stellar in Barcelona win as Luis Suarez nets hat trick

Luis Suarez fired a hat-trick and Lionel Messi a brace as Barcelona ran riot in a 6-1 win against Girona to stay on course for their 25th La Liga title.

Cristiano Ronaldo scores twice to lead Real Madrid to 4-0 win

Cristiano Ronaldo scores twice to lead Real Madrid to 4-0 win

Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema were on the scoresheet as a Real Madrid side shorn of several stars continued their impressive form with a 4-0 victory over Alaves.

Asensio inspires Real Madrid to win over Leganes

Asensio inspires Real Madrid to win over Leganes

Skipper Sergio Ramos scored a late penalty clincher as Real Madrid came from behind to win 3-1 at Leganes and ease themselves into third place in La Liga.

Marco Asensio strikes twice to fuel Real Madrid's comeback against Betis

Marco Asensio strikes twice to fuel Real Madrid's comeback against Betis

Real Madrid staged a storming second-half comeback to beat Real Betis 5-3 in an eight-goal La Liga thriller.

Atletico Madrid keep pressure on Barcelona with win vs. Athletic Bilbao

Atletico Madrid keep pressure on Barcelona with win vs. Athletic Bilbao

Atletico Madrid closed the gap on La Liga leaders Barcelona back to seven points with a 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano.

Valencia stage late comeback at Malaga

Valencia stage late comeback at Malaga

Valencia produced a quick-fire turnaround to win 2-1 at basement club Malaga and ensure they will end the weekend in third place, while Sevilla warmed up for their Champions League game with Manchester United next week by beating Las Palmas 2-1.

Luis Suarez, Jordi Alba help Barcelona win away to Eibar

Luis Suarez, Jordi Alba help Barcelona win away to Eibar

La Liga leaders Barcelona warmed up for their Champions League clash against Chelsea with a 2-0 win at Eibar, who finished with 10 men and manager Jose Luis Mendilibar sent to the stands.

Barcelona held at home by Getafe as unbeaten streak continues

Barcelona held at home by Getafe as unbeaten streak continues

Barcelona maintained their unbeaten record in La Liga but drew for the second league game in succession as Getafe held the leaders to a goalless stalemate at the Nou Camp.

Sevilla with a much-needed victory over Girona

Sevilla with a much-needed victory over Girona

Goalkeeper Sergio Rico was the Sevilla hero as the Copa del Rey finalists claimed a much-needed 1-0 LaLiga victory over Girona.

RELATED NEWS

Lionel Messi stellar in Barcelona win as Luis Suarez nets hat trick
Barcelona 6 - 1 Girona

Lionel Messi stellar in Barcelona win as Luis Suarez nets hat trick

Luis Suarez fired a hat-trick and Lionel Messi a brace as Barcelona ran riot in a 6-1 win against Girona to stay on course for their 25th La Liga title.

Cristiano Ronaldo scores twice to lead Real Madrid to 4-0 win
Real Madrid 4-0 Alaves

Cristiano Ronaldo scores twice to lead Real Madrid to 4-0 win

Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema were on the scoresheet as a Real Madrid side shorn of several stars continued their impressive form with a 4-0 victory over Alaves.

Asensio inspires Real Madrid to win over Leganes
Leganes 1 - 3 Real Madrid

Asensio inspires Real Madrid to win over Leganes

Skipper Sergio Ramos scored a late penalty clincher as Real Madrid came from behind to win 3-1 at Leganes and ease themselves into third place in La Liga.

Marco Asensio strikes twice to fuel Real Madrid's comeback against Betis
Real Betis 3 - 5 Real Madrid

Marco Asensio strikes twice to fuel Real Madrid's comeback against Betis

Real Madrid staged a storming second-half comeback to beat Real Betis 5-3 in an eight-goal La Liga thriller.

Atletico Madrid keep pressure on Barcelona with win vs. Athletic Bilbao
Atletico Madrid 2 - 0 Athletic Bilbao

Atletico Madrid keep pressure on Barcelona with win vs. Athletic Bilbao

Atletico Madrid closed the gap on La Liga leaders Barcelona back to seven points with a 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano.

Valencia stage late comeback at Malaga
Malaga 1 - 2 Valencia

Valencia stage late comeback at Malaga

Valencia produced a quick-fire turnaround to win 2-1 at basement club Malaga and ensure they will end the weekend in third place, while Sevilla warmed up for their Champions League game with Manchester United next week by beating Las Palmas 2-1.

Luis Suarez, Jordi Alba help Barcelona win away to Eibar
Eibar 0 - 2 Barcelona

Luis Suarez, Jordi Alba help Barcelona win away to Eibar

La Liga leaders Barcelona warmed up for their Champions League clash against Chelsea with a 2-0 win at Eibar, who finished with 10 men and manager Jose Luis Mendilibar sent to the stands.

Barcelona held at home by Getafe as unbeaten streak continues
Barcelona 0 - 0 Getafe

Barcelona held at home by Getafe as unbeaten streak continues

Barcelona maintained their unbeaten record in La Liga but drew for the second league game in succession as Getafe held the leaders to a goalless stalemate at the Nou Camp.

Sevilla with a much-needed victory over Girona
Sevilla 1 - 0 Girona

Sevilla with a much-needed victory over Girona

Goalkeeper Sergio Rico was the Sevilla hero as the Copa del Rey finalists claimed a much-needed 1-0 LaLiga victory over Girona.