Magical Messi sends Barca top of La Liga

captain Lionel scored two goals and set up two more as the Catalans thrashed Real Valladolid 5-1 to move top of on Tuesday.

Ernesto Valverde’s side ran out comfortable winners at the Camp Nou, where Saturday’s Clasico against Real Madrid was due to be played before it was postponed until December because of political tension.

took the lead after just two minutes when the ball bounced fortuitously to Clement Lenglet in the area and he crashed an effort in off the crossbar.

Kiko Olivas levelled after 15 minutes when Barca keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen could only parry a free kick, with the defender deflecting the ball home.

, however, helped take control with a perfect pass for Arturo Vidal before the Argentine scored his fourth goal in four matches in all competitions and 100th under coach Valverde.

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The magical number 10 set up Ansu Fati after the break but the 16-year-old’s shot was kept out by Valladolid’s former Barcelona goalkeeper Jordi Masip.

Luis Suarez had a goal disallowed for offside before struck again in the 75th minute, turning brilliantly from Ivan Rakitic’s pass before driving beyond Masip.

Messi then set up Suarez with a well-judged through-ball, which the Uruguayan dispatched with aplomb.

“They are very good and they don’t let you off the hook, Messi worked wonders,” said Valladolid captain Michel. “You just have to applaud (Messi) and enjoy him.”

 

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