Apr 22, 2016

    Suarez on fire as Barcelona reignite La Liga title quest


    A RED-HOT Luis Suarez scored four goals and contributed three assists as Barcelona's stuttering La Liga title charge sparked back to life with a spectacular 8-0 thrashing of Deportivo de La Coruna yesterday.

    Three successive defeats had put the brakes on Barca's title pursuit but Suarez's goal burst ended that losing run.

    Closest challengers Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid also stayed in the hunt with victories over Athletic Bilbao and Villarreal respectively.

    Real Madrid's 3-0 win over Villarreal came at a cost as Cristiano Ronaldo was seen limping off the pitch clutching his thigh.

    Manager Zinedine Zidane later sought to play down the seriousness of the injury.

    "He felt something just at the end, I can't tell you anything at the moment but it's more that he had a scare than that something serious happened," he said.

    Atletico secured a 1-0 win, thanks to a first-half header from Fernando Torres, but they too suffered an injury setback. Defender Diego Godin was forced off in the ninth minute with a suspected hamstring injury.

    Barca lead Atletico due to their superior head-to-head record, with both teams on 79 points with four games remaining. Third-placed Real are a point adrift.

    Uruguayan Suarez was unstoppable as he took his goal tally to 49 in all competitions.

    He gave Barca a two-goal cushion at the break by scoring in the 11th and 24th minutes.

    He provided the cross for Ivan Rakitic to grab the third in the 48th. Suarez completed his hat-trick five minutes later and netted his fourth in the 64th minute. Lionel Messi, Marc Bartra and Neymar rounded off the scoring late on.

    Barca coach Luis Enrique praised his team's efficiency in front of goal but said the performance was not any better than in the 2-1 defeat to Valencia last Sunday.

    "This time, we had infinite solutions and we moved the ball around midfield really well, but I insist that we did the same against Valencia and look at the result," he said.

    "We have a marvellous challenge in front of us and we are better prepared for it after this spectacular result."