Tuesday, June 26, 2018 01:40:39 AM
Lionel Messi dazzled with two goals and two assists as Barcelona thrashed Celta Vigo 5-0 in their first game since coach Luis Enrique announced he will leave at the end of the season.
Real Madrid remain just one point behind Barca at the top of La Liga and with a game in hand as Karim Benzema scored twice in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in a 4-1 win at Eibar.
An inspired performance by Messi on Saturday raised Barca hopes of a miraculous Champions League fightback from 4-0 down against Paris Saint-Germain next Wednesday.
"Beforehand the tie is lost, but with some marvellous circumstances...we can get ourselves back into the tie if we play very well," Enrique told Spanish TV station Movistar.
And the champions showed no ill effects from Enrique's pending departure in arguably their best performance of the season.
"I am very confident we are going to have a great end to the season," Enrique added.
Messi opened the scoring in sensational style on 24 minutes as he turned just inside the Celta half before skipping past a host of helpless defenders and stroking the ball home from the edge of the area.
However, the finish for Barca's second was equally as majestic as Messi's pass was dinked over Sergio Alvarez from close range by Neymar.
The hosts' dominance was rewarded with a third just before the hour mark, although there was more than a touch of fortune about it as Ivan Rakitic was clearly offside when he pounced on Rafinha's layoff.
Messi was the provider once more for the fourth as his low cross was turned home by Samuel Umtiti for his first Barca goal.
And the five-time world player of the year produced another individual effort to end the scoring as it started as he cut in from the right before firing the ball inside Alvarez's near post.
- Real reaction -
Earlier, Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane praised his side's response to a recent slump in form after defeat to Valencia and a thrilling 3-3 draw with Las Palmas in two of their previous three outings.
"I am happy with our reaction," said Zidane. "In the course of a season there are moments when you have to suffer and it is normal that you can't always play well.
"We started very strongly and at a high tempo, which is very important away from home."
Indeed, Madrid were 3-0 up inside half an hour as Benzema finished twice from close range before teeing up James Rodriguez for the third.
"Benzema had a part in all four goals. I am happy for him, he had a great game," added Zidane.
Despite the absence of Ronaldo and Bale through injury and suspension respectively, Zidane rested a host of other first-team regulars ahead of Tuesday's Champions League last 16 return leg away to Napoli.
Those coming in rewarded Zidane's faith in the depth of his squad with the often sidelined Rodriguez a constant threat.
The opener arrived on 14 minutes when Benzema followed up after Yoel had saved his initial effort to register just his second league goal since October.
Madrid soon doubled their advantage when Rodriguez's wicked in-swinging free-kick left Benzema with the simplest of tasks to knock the ball home from point-blank range.
Four minutes later the roles were reversed as this time Benzema's low cross was swept into the far corner on the stretch by Rodriguez for his fifth goal of the season.
Marco Asensio had unselfishly squared to Rodriguez in the move for the fourth goal, but after the Colombian's effort came back off the post, Asensio expertly dispatched the rebound from a narrow angle.
WHEN this write-up reaches to you, polls-time may start in Gazipur City Corporation (GCC) where all-out preparedness has been accomplished to hold election amid arrest spree of pro-BNP men by police without showing pending cases or no case at all. The High Court on Monday issued a rule directing against ...
AFP, Kazan :Australia's long-suffering fans are bracing for another World Cup anti-climax Tuesday when the Socceroos face a Peru side desperate for a victory that may send their opponents home.Pipped 2-1 in the final minutes by France and left agonizing over their failure to win a thrilling 1-1 draw against ...
Al Jazeera News :Nogales, Mexico - Guadalupe and her two-year-old daughter have been waiting at the port of entry to the US in Nogales, Mexico for days.The 22-year-old fled her home state of Sinaloa, Mexico more than two weeks ago after she found out the father of her daughter was ...
Entertainment ReportIn last Eid, on Channel 9 a special play Maa directed by Arif Khan was aired. In that play, Suborna Mustafa and Emon acted in roles of mother and her son respectively. Though Emon acted many plays were aired in Eid but he is getting huge response for the ...
AFP, Beirut : Russia bombed rebel-held parts of southern Syria late Saturday for the first time since brokering a ceasefire there nearly a year ago, a monitor group said, as allied regime troops prepare a ground assault.Southern Syria is a strategic prize for local and global players involved in the country's ...
The Washington Post :Zimbabwe's election campaign season took a worrying turn Saturday afternoon when a crude bombing at a speech delivered by President Emmerson Mnangagwa appeared to be an attempt on his life.Mnangagwa had just finished giving a speech in a stadium in Zimbabwe's second-largest city, Bulawayo, when the blast ...
TERMING it as the deadliest day, the news media reported that at least 55 people were killed in separate road accidents in different districts across the country on Saturday. Bangladesh Jatri Kallyan Samity said it was the highest number of casualties in a single day in recent times. An 11-member ...
Entertainment Report :In last January, popular TV actress Richi Solaiman came to Bangladesh to pass times with her mother and brother by own way. After five months, she is returning to her motherland tomorrow. This time she is coming for several reasons including to celebrate Eid-ul-Azha with her mother, to ...
US President Donald Trump took an U-turn and changed his own policy amid strong protest by American people. There are huge criticism and outcry in America over the way undocumented parents and children have been kept forcibly apart. He said he changed his mind by seeing images of children who ...
AFP, United Nations :UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday called for an immediate end to a military escalation in southwest Syria and a return to ceasefire arrangements agreed by Russia, the United States and Jordan.US Ambassador Nikki Haley separately urged Russia to pressure its Syrian ally to uphold the truce. ...