Barcelona’s lethal trio in party mood against Real Sociedad

Luis Enrique has explained Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar’s hunger for goals by admitting “the party is not complete unless they all score”.
Barcelona’s lethal trio in party mood against Real Sociedad

Barca’s three deadly forwards all netted in the 4-0 win over Real Sociedad at the Nou Camp, which cements the Catalans’ place at the top of the Primera Division.

Neymar opened the scoring against the Basques and scored a second early in the first half after Suarez had doubled the lead before the break.

Messi added the fourth in injury time, finding the net for the first time in the league since September 20.

Neymar and Suarez kept the goals coming in while the Argentinian was absent for two months with a knee injury and the trio have now netted 30 times in total in the league this term.

“Once the victory is certain, they all try to score, and it comes natural to them,” said Enrique.

“It’s different at the start of the game but they have a great understanding and the party isn’t complete unless they all score.” Barca have scored 14 goals in their last three matches but the coach does not believe his team have yet reached their peak yet.

“I don’t feel like we are at our best yet, I think we played better last season, although we are certainly playing at a very high level, and that’s important to me,” he said.

“I hope that our best moment is still to come. There’s no doubt that we are in great form and are enjoying ourselves, but no-one has won a league title in December.”

Second-placed Atletico kept pace with Barcelona as Antoine Griezmann’s strike saw off Espanyol in a 1-0 success at the Vicente Calderon.

But Atletico were rocked by a serious injury to midfielder Tiago, who was stretchered off in the first half and seems set for a lengthy spell out.

Valencia coach Nuno Espírito Santo was reported to have left the club after their 1-0 defeat at Sevilla last night. Sergio Escudero scored Sevilla’s goal while Valencia finished with nine men as Joao Cancelo and Javi Fuego were dismissed.

In Serie A, Juventus won 3-0 at Palermo last night.

Mario Mandzukic’s 55th-minute goal gave Juventus the lead while late goals from Stefano Sturaro and Simone Zaza confirmed the win.

Thrashed by Barca midweek, Roma’s woes continued as Atalanta beat them 2-0 at the Stadio Olimpico.

Alejandro Gomez scored and won the penalty which German Denis converted. Maicon saw red for fouling Gomez while Atalanta’s Guglielmo Stendardo and Alberto Grassi followed him down the tunnel before the full-time whistle.

M’Baye Niang scored twice as AC Milan climbed to fifth with a 4-1 home win over Sampdoria on Saturday.

Carpi climbed off the bottom as Cristian Zaccardo’s late winner downed Genoa 2-1 at the Marassi.

The top two, Inter and Napoli, clash tonight at the Stadio San Paolo in Naples at 8pm Irish time.

Maurizio Sarri’s Napoli have beaten champions Juventus, AC Milan, Lazio and Fiorentina this season and are now targeting Inter and top spot, which is only two points away.

Sarri said: “I don’t feel any pressure. If we are in this position, then it’s because we have done well so far. And we will continue to do so.”

In Germany, Borussia Dortmund appear to be the only side in the Bundesliga able to make the race for the title interesting after they beat Stuttgart 4-1 yesterday while third-placed Wolfsburg slipped up in Augsburg.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was on target twice for Dortmund, with Gonzalo Castro putting them in front and an own goal from Georg Niedermeier helping them reduce the arrears on leaders Bayern Munich to eight points.

With three games to go to the winter break, and the midway stage of the season, that means Bayern cannot yet be certain of leading the way heading into 2016.

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