London : Barcelona maintained their one goal gap behind La Liga leaders Real Madrid as they thrashed Elche 6-0 on Saturday, thanks to a brace each from Brazilian Neymar and Argentina football team captain Lionel Messi. Spanish centre-back Gerard Pique opened the scoring in the 35th minute with the visitors’ only shot on target in a tight first half before Messi scored from the spot after the break to double Barca’s lead.
Elche were reduced to 10 men when Faycal Fajr was sent off, as Neymar scored a quick brace within three minutes to dominate the hosts 4-0, the BBC reported. Just two-minutes before time, Messi rifled in to complete his own double. And Pedro netted the sixth goal on the 90th minute as the match ended with Barca having won 6-0 and one point behind leaders Real in the Spanish League.
Barca boss Luis Enrique made six changes to the side that beat Atletico Madrid 1-0 in the Copa del Rey in midweek and benched Luis Suarez on his birthday, despite recently backing the 75 million pounds striker to rediscover his best goalscoring form. Barca have now won six consecutive games in all competitions and keep the pressure on their arch-rivals at the top of the league, the report added.