Sunday 21 January 2018

Suarez and Messi double up but Bayern's treble dream dies

Lionel Messi scores a ‘Panenka’ penalty during Barcelona’s crushing victory over Getafe
Lionel Messi scores a ‘Panenka’ penalty during Barcelona’s crushing victory over Getafe Newsdesk Newsdesk

Barcelona forwards Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar motored past 100 goals for the season to fire the La Liga leaders to a 6-0 romp at home to Getafe and stretch their advantage over Real Madrid to five points.

After Suarez was felled, Messi set Barca on their way with a dinked penalty in the ninth minute at the Nou Camp, the first time he has attempted a 'Panenka' in 75 spot-kicks for club and country.

Suarez clipped a volley high into the net from Messi's floated pass in the 25th minute and Neymar weaved his way into space to fire low into the corner and make it 3-0 three minutes later, the 100th goal for Messi, Suarez and Neymar - known collectively in Spain as 'MSN' - in all competitions this term. Argentina forward Messi has 49, Uruguay striker Suarez, whose ban for biting an opponent expired at the end of October, has 21 and Brazil forward Neymar 32.

Playmaker Xavi, making his 501st La Liga appearance for the Catalan giants, curled a shot into the top corner on the half-hour and Suarez netted his second after a flowing move five minutes before the break.

It was the first time Getafe, who are 13th, have conceded five goals in the first half of a La Liga match.

Messi took his La Liga tally for the season to 38 goals, one behind top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo of Real, with a whipped shot into the top corner two minutes into the second period before Getafe managed to repel waves of attacks for the remainder of the game. Second-placed Real can trim the gap back to two points if they win their game in hand at home to Almeria tonight.

In Germany, Pep Guardiola's dreams of a treble with Bayern Munich were ended by a penalty shoot-out defeat to Dortmund in the German Cup.

After a 1-1 draw, Bayern missed all four of their penalties, with Philipp Lahm and Xabi Alonso both slipping as they struck the ball and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer hitting the crossbar. Dortmund won the shoot-out 2-0.

In the Championship, Rotherham's 2-1 victory against Reading last night meant both Millwall and Wigan were relegated to League One.

Irish Independent

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