FC Barcelona's trident deep sixes Celta

Suárez, Messi and Neymar picked Celta apart on Sunday night. / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
Luis Suárez — who scored a hat trick — Lionel Messi, and Neymar are involved in all the goals as the Catalans sink the Galicians at Camp Nou

Luis Súarez scored three times as part of FC Barcelona’s second half goal glut which saw the Catalans pour it on late in a 6–1 dissection of Celta in La Liga action on Sunday night at Camp Nou.

Lionel Messi opened the scoring for Barça before Celta answered right back and Ivan Rakitic and Neymar appended goals in the final ten minutes in what amounted to rubbing salt in Celta’s wound.

With the victory, FC Barcelona maintain their four-point advantage at the top of the league standings while expanding their Club record unbeaten streak to 30 games. Barça still have a game in hand, though, which they will play this Wednesday at Sporting de Gijón, where a win will see their league advantage swell to seven points.

The rout over Celta also gives Barça and head coach Luis Enrique — who had come to FCB from Celta in the 2014 off-season — some sweet revenge, after they had fallen 4–1 at Balaídos earlier this season and had lost two of the last three meetings between the two, including a painful 1–0 loss at Camp Nou last season.

The lopsided play late in the game was proof that Celta were sorely missing several top players, some to injury and some to suspension.

Nevertheless, Barça and Celta were deadlocked at the half and there were few signs of what was to come.

Neymar’s close-range shot that was denied by the quick reflexes of Celta goalkeeper Sergio Álvarez after a quarter-hour of play was the only exception to a soporific opening 20 minutes of play that was notable only for its paucity of menacing attacks.

Messi put FC Barcelona ahead 1–0 in the 28th minute with a quintessential free-kick goal from 30 metres after Luis Suárez was tackled hard by Planas in the midst of a marauding down the centre of the field, drawing a yellow card for the Celta defender. Messi lined up the 30-metre free kick and hit the bull’s-eye, just out of the reach of the high-flying keeper.

For Messi, it was his 13th of the season in La Liga and his 28th overall.

But ten minutes later, in the 38th, Celta drew level on a rather serendipitous play for Celta goal after Celta forward John Guidetti, who had been breaking away from the goal was tripped up by full-back Jordi Alba in the Barça penalty area. Guidetti himself blasted the spot kick past Bravo.

Barça went back up, 2–1, in the 59th minute when Suárez chipped past Sergio from the doorstep after receiving an astonishing pass from Messi, who flicked a feathery lob over the Celta defence and hit the breaking Suárez in-stride.

The so-called trident came out in full force for Barça’s third goal of the evening, as Suárez cleaned up after Messi and Neymar combined inside the Celta area.

In the 81st minute Messi was tripped inside the penalty area and, after lining up for the penalty kick, did something that caught not just Celta off guard, but the whole stadium, as well as everyone else in the world either watching or listening. Messi approached the ball and, instead of shooting, tapped it a few feet forward, where Suárez, who was in on the ruse, drove the ball into the net past the helpless goalkeeper to make it 4–1.

It was Suárez’s third goal of the second half, his league-leading 23rd goal of the season, and his 39th overall across all competitions.

Ivan Rakitic scored Barça’s fifth goal of the night when charged straight up the middle, took a soft pass from Suárez, and finished with aplomb.

Neymar piled on Barça’s sixth goal in the 88th with a beautiful assist from Suárez.