Sport Soccer

Saturday 20 January 2018

Neymar and Messi run riot as Barca put six past Granada

Barcelona's Lionel Messi scores his goal against Granada FC goalkeeper Roberto
Barcelona's Lionel Messi scores his goal against Granada FC goalkeeper Roberto

Neymar hit a hat-trick and Lionel Messi scored twice as Barcelona enjoyed a resounding 6-0 victory over Granada on Saturday to continue to set the pace at the top of La Liga.

There were wins also for champions Atletico Madrid and for Real Madrid.

Barca produced the perfect response to their 0-0 draw at Malaga on Wednesday, and they now have 16 points from six games.

Neymar broke Granada's stubborn resistance with a scrappy goal midway through the first half when his shot hit Jean-Sylvain Babin and looped over 'keeper Roberto Fernandez. He added a second after Ivan Rakitic headed home in the run-up to half-time.

A fine move led to Dani Alves volleying a cross for Messi to head home the fourth after 65 minutes and then Neymar was on target again as he confidently picked his spot in the corner four minutes later for his treble.

Messi got his second by stealing the ball off Jeison Murillo and slotting past the 'keeper. It was his 400th career senior goal - 358 for Barca and 42 for Argentina.

Cristiano Ronaldo kept up his rich scoring form with the second goal for Real in a 2-0 win at Villarreal after Luka Modric had put them ahead. They are fourth on 12 points.

Carlo Ancelotti gave Real's attacking players licence to exchange position and Karim Benzema, returning to the side, picked out Ronaldo to finish clinically five minutes from the break. It was his 10th league goal this season.

Villarreal continued to press forward after the restart with Mario Gaspar and Gabriel going close with efforts but after the high tempo of the first half both teams began to run out of steam.

A late Raul Jimenez header wrapped up a 4-0 victory for Atletico over Sevilla that left them two points behind Barca in second. Koke put Atletico ahead with a deflected shot after 19 minutes and before half-time Miranda crossed for Saul Niguez to score with a cushioned header.

Raul Garcia scored a late penalty, and in stoppage time Jimenez headed in a Koke cross.

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