Barca run riot, with Suarez, Messi on fire

Fit-again Lionel Messi gets the better of Wojciech Szczesny to score as Barcelona put up an attacking masterclass against Roma.
Fit-again Lionel Messi gets the better of Wojciech Szczesny to score as Barcelona put up an attacking masterclass against Roma.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

BARCELONA • Luis Suarez said Barcelona had played the "perfect game" after they thrashed Roma 6-1 with a breathtaking, attacking performance at the Camp Nou.

The Uruguayan forward and the fit-again Lionel Messi each netted twice on Tuesday night, with Gerard Pique and Adriano also on the scoresheet before Edin Dzeko bagged a consolation goal in stoppage time for the Italian side.

Said Suarez: "We played a perfect game. Leo, Neymar and myself are team players and we look to help the team.

"Messi is the best in the world and I am very happy for him to have scored and played the full match."

The win secured Barcelona top spot in Group E and manager Luis Enrique said the key to his side's success is the way they pressure their opponents as a team.

Said the Spaniard: "Messi has fitted back into the side, I saw Suarez pressuring after 92 minutes, Neymar pressuring and it is the same as we have been playing before.

"All the team attacking and defending as a line."

Messi began his first game since picking up a knee-ligament injury in September and looked hungry to get back among the goals.

Both his strikes were set up by Suarez and Enrique singled out the No. 9 for praise.

"He looks as though he has been playing for years at Barcelona and he is able to have a lot of influence with his work," he said.

"He is like a talisman because he brings so much positivity and intensity to our play and he is crucial when you consider, on top of that, his quality."

Roma are left on five points along with Bayer Leverkusen.

Bate Borisov have four after they drew 1-1 with the German side.

Roma coach Rudi Garcia said: "Right now, Barca are unstoppable, it's not a coincidence that they beat Madrid 4-0. For us, the good news arrived before the match.

"The draw between Leverkusen and Bate keeps our options alive."

While Barcelona have cruised into the knockout phase, fellow La Liga side Valencia face a tricky final game in two weeks.

The Peter Lim-owned team lost 0-2 away at Zenit St Petersburg and were leapfrogged by Ghent, thanks to Kalifa Coulibaly's last-gasp goal which secured a 2-1 win over Group H bottom side Lyon. Valencia, with six points, trail the Belgian club by one and must beat Lyon at the Mestalla and hope Ghent falter against Zenit.

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 26, 2015, with the headline 'Barca run riot, with Suarez, Messi on fire'. Print Edition | Subscribe