Barcelona kept the heat on Real Madrid at the top of LaLiga as their MSN frontline passed 100 goals for the season in a clinical 4-1 win over Villarreal.
Fran Escriba’s men came into the game having conceded just 10 goals on their travels all season, fewer than any side in LaLiga.
And fittingly, it was Barca’s best that settled the contest as Neymar, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez each netted.
Cedric Bakambu had briefly caused concern with an equaliser that exposed the defensive flaws that have hampered Luis Enrique’s men all season.
But the first of Messi’s two strikes brought up a century of goals between himself, Suarez and Neymar – the Argentina star having scored 51 of them in another season of mesmerising brilliance after following up a first-half strike with a late penalty.
Playing before Madrid’s trip to relegated Granada, Barca kept up their end of the bargain to go three points clear of their fierce rivals, but it is a fixture that ought not to hold fear for Zinedine’s Zidane men – who also hold another game in hand over the Catalans.
Each of the goals indicated exactly what Barcelona will need in the run-in – Neymar’s quick feet, Messi’s dazzling dribbling and Suarez’s brute power – and Luis Enrique’s stony insistence that Barca will give their all to overhaul Madrid was boosted by an 11th home win in a row – their best sequence in LaLiga under his stewardship.
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