Messi scores 51st goal of the season

Posted May 07, 2017

Two goals from Messi and another from Luis Suarez ensured Barcelona ran out comfortable winners at the Nou Camp despite Cedric Bakambu's equaliser, and while each of the infamous MSN shone in the victory, Enrique singled out Neymar's unique contribution. As a result, they have to win their three remaining matches while hoping Madrid slip up between now and the end of the campaign, reports Xinhua news agency.

With a La Liga title still yet to contend for, as long as Messi, Suarez and Neymar keep firing Barcelona will still be in the fight. They sit fifth, six points below Sevilla and one point ahead of Athletic Bilbao who are in sixth.

Luis Enrique singled Neymar out for particular praise, comparing his "exceptional" dribbling skills to a ballet dance despite criticisms of his showboating from Villarreal players.

Real Madrid is tied with Barcelona for points, but Barca has a better goal differential (aka the difference between "goals for" and "goals against.") If Real Madrid loses or draws any of their remaining games, they'll practically hand the title over to Barca.

Cruising to victory, Barca put the cherry on top with a goal oozing with class as Neymar scooped the ball over Mario before crossing to Suarez, whose shot was handled by Jaume Costa and Messi delicately dinked a Panenka down the middle to cap a satisfying outing.

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Atletico Madrid's Saul Niguez (R) celebrates after scoring during their Spanish league football match against Eibar at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid on May 6, 2017. "They will be with us again on Wednesday".

And Atletico coach Diego Simeone encouraged his side to believe they can pull off a spectacular comeback in the second leg against their local rivals. Thanks to these successes, the Catalans for three rounds before the finish of the season share 1-2 place in the championship with Real, having 81 points in their assets with a goal difference of 104-33.

Atletico guaranteed a top-four finish as Saul Niguez's victor 21 minutes from time earned a 1-0 win over Eibar.

Godin was sent off in stoppage time after picking up two quick bookings, ruling him out of the penultimate round at Real Betis.

Sporting's first win in eight rounds lifted it to within three points of Leganes, which hosts Real Betis on Monday.