Sat | Aug 19, 2017

With trick penalty, Barcelona rout Celta

Published:Monday | February 15, 2016 | 2:00 AM

MADRID (AP):

Lionel Messi put on another show at the Camp Nou yesterday, scoring a remarkable goal from a free kick and then helping to set up a hat-trick for Luis Su·rez - including a daring assist from a penalty kick - as Barcelona thrashed Celta Vigo 6-1.

Ivan Rakitic and Neymar also scored as Barcelona opened up a three-point lead in the Spanish league over AtlÈtico Madrid, which edged Getafe 1-0. Real Madrid, which beat Athletic Bilbao 4-2 on Saturday with two goals by Cristiano Ronaldo, are four points behind Barcelona in third place. Barcelona have a game in hand.

It was an impressive victory by the Catalan club, and the performances by Messi, Suarez and Neymar in the second half neared perfection.

"We were spectacular and effective," Barcelona coach Luis Enrique said. "I'm used to seeing these players. When they train, they are even better."

Messi started the show by curling a left-foot shot over the wall in the 28th minute and then mesmerised the Camp Nou crowd as he helped Su·rez to score in the 59th, 75th, and 81st minutes.

EXTRA-SPECIAL GOAL

Su·rez 's third goal was extra special, with the Uruguay striker and Messi fooling everybody after Messi was tripped in the area following a nifty dribble past a defender. Messi was set to take the spot-kick himself, but he just rolled the ball to the side for the in-rushing Su·rez to drive it home.

While Celta players looked on in awe, Su·rez and Messi glimpsed at each other and smiled broadly before embracing to celebrate. Luis Enrique tried to cover his mouth while smiling himself at the bench.

"Barcelona players, in addition to winning titles, also want to have fun and entertain the members in a fair and spectacular way," the coach said. "It didn't surprise me."

The play became famous after Johan Cruyff - a Barcelona idol - executed it while playing for Ajax in 1982.

"It's a legal play. Some will like it, some won't," Luis Enrique said. "It will generate a lot of debate."