Eibar, Spain: Lionel Messi teamed up with Antoine Griezmann and Luis Suarez as Barcelona’s big three all scored in a commanding 3-0 win at Eibar in the Spanish league on Saturday.
The trio of star forwards lifted defending champion Barcelona into first place ahead of Real Madrid’s match at Mallorca later. Barcelona now leads Madrid by one point.
Barcelona enjoyed their best away match of the season. Griezmann put Barcelona ahead in the 13th minute when Clement Lenglet met his run behind Eibar’s high defensive line with a long ball that left him alone to beat goalkeeper Marko Dmitrovic.
Dmitrovic denied Messi before halftime, but couldn’t do it again in the 58th after a passing combination by Suarez and Griezmann set up Barcelona’s all-time scorer in the area.
The three combined again in the 66th when Griezmann launched Messi with a through ball. Messi then slid the ball over for Suarez to finish off on the break.
Ernesto Valverde’s team has won five matches across all competitions after an erratic start to the season.
Earlier on Friday, Angel Di Maria grabbed two goals while Kylian Mbappe struck on his return from injury as Paris Saint-Germain won 4-1 at Nice on Friday to surge five points clear at the top of Ligue 1.
PSG lost Neymar and the influential Idrissa Gueye to injury over the international break while Mbappe and Edinson Cavani were only fit enough to make the bench for the trip to the Cote d’Azur.
A spectacular triple save by Walter Benitez kept out Presnel Kimpembe and Abdou Diallo in the opening minutes at the Allianz Riviera but PSG soon made the breakthrough.
Di Maria raced on to a first-time pass from fellow Argentine Mauro Icardi before calmly guiding beyond Benitez in the Nice goal on 15 minutes.
Only Mbappe has been involved in more goals in France this year than Di Maria, who duly doubled his tally six minutes later with a sublime lob from an unfavourable angle.
Marquinhos replaced PSG captain Thiago Silva at half-time and headed against the crossbar at a corner, but a mistake from the Brazilian presented Nice a lifeline on 67 minutes.
An ill-advised attempt at chesting down a cross allowed Kasper Dolberg to tee up Ignatius Ganago to blast home via the underside of the bar.
Any chance Patrick Vieira’s side had of salvaging a result effectively evaporated though with the dismissal of Wylan Cyprien and Christophe Herelle in a matter of minutes.
Cyprien was shown a second yellow card for dissent with Herelle sent off following a VAR review for a petulant slap on Leandro Paredes.
Spanish La Liga
Played on Saturday
Eibar 0 Barcelona 3
Granada 1 Osasuna 0
French Ligue 1
Nice 1 Paris Saint-Germain 4
Eintracht Frankfurt 3 Bayer Leverkusen 0