Messi scores 2 as Barcelona thrash Liga newcomer Leganes
AP, Saturday 17 Sep 2016


Barcelona's unstoppable trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar all scored to make short work of newly promoted Leganes in the Spanish league on Saturday.

The three stars combined repeatedly in the first half to set the defending champions on their way to a 5-1 win in Barcelona's first ever visit to Leganes, a small club from southern Madrid playing its maiden campaign in the top tier.

Messi scored twice, and hit the post, giving the Argentina star five goals in two matches during a five-day span.

Last weekend, Barcelona left Messi and Suarez on the bench against Alaves, only to see the promoted side snatch a rare 2-1 win at Camp Nou.

Lesson learned.

Coach Luis Enrique went with Messi and Suarez from the start on Saturday. The two linked up with striker partner Neymar to completely outclass their hosts.

Playing just its fourth match in the top flight in its 88-year history, Leganes opted to be daring when faced by the five-time European champion.

Leganes had reason to trust coach Asier Garitano, who had led it up from the third division to the first in only three years. The team started the season with a 1-0 win at Celta Vigo and a 0-0 draw against Atletico Madrid.

Its high defensive line, however, only left Barcelona's big three with plenty of room to romp.

The easy win was a continuation of Barcelona's dominant week after thrashing Celtic 7-0. Messi scored three times against the Scottish visitors and helped set a club record for its biggest win in the Champions League.

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