Sports Football 05 Feb 2016 Barcelona in 7th hea ...

Barcelona in 7th heaven

AFP
Published Feb 5, 2016, 4:32 am IST
Updated Feb 5, 2016, 4:32 am IST
Suarez, Messi score hat-tricks as defending champs thrash Valencia 7-0.
Barcelona’s Lionel Messi (left) tries to dodge his way past Valencia players during their Copa del Rey first leg semifinal match at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on Wednesday. Barcelona won 7-0. (Photo: AP)
 Barcelona’s Lionel Messi (left) tries to dodge his way past Valencia players during their Copa del Rey first leg semifinal match at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on Wednesday. Barcelona won 7-0. (Photo: AP)

Barcelona: Luis Suarez scored four and Lionel Messi hit a hat-trick as Barcelona piled more misery on Gary Neville’s ill-fated reign as Valencia boss to take an unassailable 7-0 lead in their Copa del Rey semifinal, first-leg on Wednesday. Two fine finishes inside 12 minutes from Suarez put Barca in control before Messi rounded off a fine team move for Barca’s third.

It could have been even worse for Valencia as Neymar hit the post from the penalty spot after Shkodran Mustafi was sent-off for bringing down Messi inside the area. However, Messi and Suarez both added two more after the break to make next week’s second-leg at the Mestalla a formality. “It is one the best games we have played all season in every sense,” Suarez said.

 

“From the first minute to the last we showed a great attitude, we were good on the ball and we have a good advantage.” The Cup had been Neville’s one refuge during a winless run of eight league games since taking charge in December, but Valencia were blown away by a Barca side back to their best and on the verge of a fifth final in six seasons.

However, Neville insisted he wasn’t prepared to resign just two months after taking charge. “I won’t sleep well tonight. I didn’t like what I saw. The fans didn’t deserve that and we have to recover incredibly quickly,” said the former Manchester United captain. Neymar had made headlines earlier in the week as he was quizzed by a judge in Spain’s top court over the murky transfer deal which brought him to Barca in 2013 amidst corruption and fraud allegations.

 

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