Luis Suarez scored his third hat trick of the season to help Barcelona to a convincing 5-1 victory over Celta Vigo in a La Liga week 24 encounter at the Camp Nou.
Lionel Messi was fit to start after treatment for kidney stones kept him out of the midweek draw against Valencia in a Cup game while Ivan Rakitic was benched in favor of Sergi Roberto. Celta on the other hand made one change from the 1-1 draw with Sevilla, Josep Sene coming in for Theo Bongonda, with Nolito injured and Iago Aspas and Fabian Orellana all sidelined with bans.
Messi netted just before the hour mark after Suarez was fouled roughly 30 yards from goal, but Celta had been well worth the draw to that point.
Parity was restored when John Guidetti beat Claudio Bravo from 12 yards after he had been fouled by Jordi Alba, the left-back kicking the striker’s heels inside the area.
After the break, Suarez and Messi combined for Barcelona’s second as the hour approached before an altogether simpler second for Suarez following a hard work by Neymar before being played in by Messi to round the goalkeeper before sending a tight angle effort over the line.
Suarez had another simple finish for his third but it was a goal of astounding creativity, Messi choosing not to shoot from the penalty spot even though he could have had his 300th La Liga goal if he scored.
Instead, Messi squared for Suarez, who ran in and buried past poor Sergio Alvarez. Moments later, Celta were made to rue their profligacy when Suarez gave Barca a two-goal lead and the tiring Galicians were routed with Suarez’s third and Rakitic’s lob – from a Suarez pass.
The visitors, who gave so much for 60 minutes, were out on their feet by the end and Neymar made the most of it, finally getting his goal and capping a stunning second half from the Catalans.