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Messi scores twice as Barca cruise past Alaves

(Xinhua)    10:56, July 20, 2020

FC Barcelona ended their disappointing league campaign on a positive note as Leo Messi scored twice and inspired them to a 5-0 win away to Alaves on Sunday afternoon.

After Barca's 2-1 defeat at home to Osasuna on Thursday, there was only pride to play for both Barca and Alaves.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Alaves were lacking some tension in their play after assuring their la Liga survival in their previous game and Messi was in the mood to make them pay for their relaxation.

First he slipped the ball to in-form youngster Ansu Fati to open the scoring in the 24th minute, with the 17-year-old showing his anticipation to prod the ball past Roberto in the Alaves goal.

10 minutes later Messi made it 2-0 with his 24th league goal of the season, darting into the Alaves area and wrong-footing Roberto with a swivel of his hips.

Suarez headed home Barca's third just before halftime after Messi's sharp pass out to the left allowed left back Jordi Alba to cross to give Suarez a simple chance.

There was bad news for Barca in the 47th minute when central defender Clement Lenglet was forced off with an apparent hip injury. With Samuel Umtiti also sidelined, if the Frenchman's injury is serious, it could be a major problem for Barca when the Champions League restarts next month.

Lenglet was replaced by Nelson Semedo, who minutes after entering the match scored Barca's fourth goal of the game.

Frenkie De Jong returned to action as a late substitute after a muscle injury suffered a month ago, before Messi's left foot shot gave him his 25th goal of the campaign and made it 5-0 with 15 minutes remaining. The goal means that Messi has netted at least 25 league goals for 11 consecutive seasons.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wen Ying, Bianji)

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