Friday, 20 July, 2018

La Liga preview: Barcelona hosts Girona in Catalan Derby

Paulinho struggled against Chelsea in midweek Paulinho struggled against Chelsea in midweek
Melissa Porter | 25 February, 2018, 08:07

The pair have scored a combined 48 goals and produced 23 assists between them, with Messi netting 28 and Suarez bagging 20.

Girona's early lead at Camp Nou was short lived as Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez orchestrated a masterful Barcelona win to continue their march toward the La Liga crown. With this victory, Barcelona are now 10 points clear at the summit of La Liga.

10 minutes into the second half, Suarez almost completed his hat-trick with a curling effort that crashed against upright with Yassine Bono well beaten.

Philippe Coutinho set up Suarez's second before curling home his first La Liga goal, and Suarez tapped in Ousmane Dembele's cross for his third.

This Barcelona side beat the record set by Pep Guardiola's Barcelona side of 2011 which went 31 matches unbeaten in La Liga.

"This is a team game and it was a wonderful gesture". Portu's strike from an angle hit both posts before settling into the net. The Catalan club has impressed in its debut season in the first division, and lost only once in the six games prior to Saturday.

Earlier on Saturday, Real Madrid's "BBC" strikeforce hit back with a vengeance when Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema all scored in a 4-0 win at home to Alaves, a fifth successive win in all competitions for Zinedine Zidane's side.

But it was the Argentina international's second goal of the game that got rapturous applause from the home crowd.

The red-hot forward was then seemingly presented with the opportunity to score his 13th goal in just over a month - and complete yet another treble - when Bale was brought down in the area late on. The Frenchman made no mistake, converting from the spot in the 89th minute.

Barca finished the game with 10 when, after making all three substitutions, right-back Nelson Semedo limped off with an apparent hamstring injury. It was a nice gesture that Ronaldo allowed Benzema to take the penalty. Real are third in the standings on 51 points, four behind Atletico who can widen the gap back to seven when they visit Sevilla on Sunday.