Messi, Suarez on target as Barcelona routs Getafe 6-0
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez both scored twice as Barcelona thrashed Getafe 6-0 on Tuesday to stay on course to reclaim the Spanish league title.
Barcelona’s ninth win in 10 rounds provisionally lifted it five points clear of Real Madrid before the second-place side hosts Almeria on Wednesday. There will then be four rounds left.
Messi converted a ninth-minute penalty earned by Suarez to get Barcelona rolling at Camp Nou before setting up the Uruguay striker’s first goal.
Neymar was next to get onto the score sheet before Xavi Hernandez and Suarez both struck before halftime.
Messi scored again just after the restart for his 49th goal in 49 games in all competitions this season.
Messi also closed the gap with Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo with his 38th league goal. Ronaldo’s 39 goals leads the domestic competition.
Messi’s goals and assists have put Barcelona in contention for three titles this season. Positioned to dethrone Atletico Madrid in the league, Barcelona has reached a Champions League semifinal against Bayern Munich and the Copa del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao.
Suarez also continued his strong finish to his first campaign with the Catalan club by scoring his 13th and 14th goals in his last 15 appearances, while Neymar netted his fourth goal in his three-game scoring run.
Barcelona coach Luis Enrique rotated his starting 11 with the pacesetters playing their second of three Liga games in an eight-day span as the season reaches its conclusion.
But with Barcelona’s star-studded strike trio intact, Getafe never had a chance as the goals came in bunches to quickly put the result beyond doubt.
Messi chipped in his spot kick “Panenka” style to start the rout when Suarez was tripped by Alvaro Arroyo just inside the area.
After Barcelona goalie Claudio Bravo backtracked to swat away Fredy Hinestroza’s lob, Suarez used an acrobatic effort to sweep in Messi’s lobbed pass in the 25th.
Barcelona’s pressure led to Mehdi Lacen losing the ball three minutes later, and Suarez laid it off for Neymar to cut back and slot in Barcelona’s third.
Xavi curled in a long strike on the half-hour mark before he set up Suarez with a deft back-heeled touch, with Suarez using one touch to curve home his shot in the 40th.
Messi added his second two minutes after halftime with a strike similar to Suarez’s, except he beat goalie Vicente Guaita from the right side of the area as he lifted the ball into the far side of the net.
Hinestroza was denied a consolation goal by the woodwork in the 71st. The loss left Getafe in 13th place.
Later, Real Sociedad was visiting Bilbao in a Basque Country derby, while Levante was hosting last-place Cordoba.