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Barcelona v Girona – story of the match

The league leaders hit Girona for six.

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 LaLiga title.

Suarez and Messi both struck first-half doubles to take the game away from Girona, who paid for the impudence of taking a third-minute lead through Portu in their first visit to Camp Nou.

Phillipe Countino got in on the act in the second period with a brilliant fifth from 25 yards – his first LaLiga goal – before Suarez, who also hit a post, completed his hat-trick.

Tweet of the match

Star man – Luis Suarez

Ahead of team-mates Messi and Coutinho purely because the Uruguay international completed his hat-trick, although he also hit a post with a fierce drive in the second half. Messi was equally impressive, while Coutinho was also in fine form as he scored a superb first goal in LaLiga.

Moment of the match

Barcelona’s fourth goal just before half-time encapsulated what this team is all about. A swift counter-attack saw Messi in possession in the final third, he slipped in Coutinho on the left side of the penalty area and the Brazilian’s first-time ball inside was swept home by Suarez. Girona were chasing shadows.

Stat attack

Messi’s first goal was a record-breaker. The Argentinian has hit the target against more different teams (36) than anyone else in LaLiga history, beating the previous best held jointly by Raul Gonzalez and Aritz Aduriz (35). His second goal was his 371st league goal in 407 appearances.

Player ratings

Barcelona: Marc-Andre ter Stegen 8 (out of 10), Nelson Semedo 6, Gerard Pique 6 (Thomas Vermaelen, 64), Samuel Umtiti 6, Jordi Alba 6, Ivan Rakitic 7 (Sergi Roberto, 77), Sergio Busquets 6 (Paulinho, 69) , Phillippe Coutinho 8, Ousmane Dembele 7, Luis Suarez 9, Lionel Messi 9.

Substitutes:  Jasper Cillessen, Andres Iniesta, Lucas Digne, Aleix Vidal.

Girona: Bono  8, Jonas Ramalho 5, Bernardo 7, Juanpe 6, Pablo Maffeo 6, Aday 6 (Carles Planas, 46), Pere Pons 5, Alex Granell 6, Borja Garcia 5 (Aleix Garcia, 63), Portu 7 (Douglas Luiz, 70), Anthony Lozano 6.

Substitutes: Gorka Iraizoz, Cristhian Stuani, DavidTimor, Marc Muniesa, Carles Planas.

Who’s up next?

Las Palmas v Barcelona (LaLiga, March 1)
Girona v Celta Vigo (LaLiga, February 27)


From Belfast Telegraph