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Luis Suarez and Paulinho score braces as Barcelona hammer Deportivo La Coruna Featured

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Published in Spain Primera Division
Monday, 18 December 2017 09:30

La Liga, Camp Nou - Barcelona 4 (Suarez 29', 47', Paulinho 41', 75')

Luis Suarez and Paulinho both scored braces as Barcelona comfortably beat Deportivo La Coruna 4-0 to establish an 11-point lead over Real Madrid ahead of next week’s Clasico.
The result means Barca also restored their six-point advantage over Atletico Madrid at the top of La Liga, although Lionel Messi was left frustrated, hitting the woodwork three times and having a penalty kick saved as he drew a blank in front of goal.
Nonetheless, Ernesto Valverde’s side had no trouble in seeing off the visitors to the Camp Nou. However, the post-match discussion will be dominated by the officials’ decision not to award Suarez a goal for a shot that appeared to have crossed the line.

Barcelona look in good shape ahead of next week's clash with Real Madrid, although Paco Alcacer will miss out after picking up an injury in the first half. Otherwise, the Catalans have a number of key players in form.

TALKING POINT
When will La Liga install goal-line technology? Another week, another debate over goal-line technology, or rather the lack of it, in the Spanish top flight. Suarez looked to have scored when he send a rabona shot towards goal from a matter of yards out. Ruben Martinez clawed out a save, but replays show the ball was over the line. Yet the goal wasn’t given. When will La Liga catch up with the rest of the footballing world?

MAN OF THE MATCH
Andres Iniesta (Barcelona) He was only on the pitch for 55 minutes before being withdrawn ahead of next week’s Clasico against Real Madrid, but this Barcelona team revolved around Andres Iniesta this evening. He is still the pass-master for the Catalans, pushing and pulling the Deportivo La Coruna defensive line out of shape from the very beginning. Without him, Barcelona lacked fluidity. This is a team that still, after all this time, relies on Iniesta.
PLAYER RATINGS
Barcelona - Ter Stegen 5, Roberto 7, Pique 5, Vermaelen 5, Alba 6, Iniesta 9, Rakitic 7, Paulinho 8, Messi 7, Suarez 7, Alcacer 5. Subs - Gomes 5, Vidal 6, Digne 5.

Deportivo La Coruna - Ruben 7, Juanfran 6, Schar 6, Sidnei 7, Navarro 6, Guilherme 5, Borges 6, Gil 5, Colak 5, Adrian 5, Perez 6. Subs - Valle 5, Bakkali 5, Valverde 4.

KEY MOMENTS
29’ GOAL! Barcelona 1-0 Deportivo La Coruna: It had been coming! Iniesta plays a wonderful clipped pass over the top for Messi, who beats the offside trap, chests down and squares for Suarez. The striker had the simple task of finishing from close range.

38’ CRASHED OFF THE BAR! Messi was inches away from scoring a second for Barcelona, but his strike from the edge of the penalty area comes crashing back off the crossbar.

40’ GOAL! Barcelona 2-0 Deportivo La Coruna: There's the second! Messi struck the woodwork once again with a low strike, but Paulinho followed it in to get something on the rebound and direct the ball into the back of the net.

45’ DID IT CROSS THE LINE? Suarez feels that his shot crossed the line and the replays suggest that he might be right! Of course, there's no goalline technology in La Liga. Controversial.
47’ GOAL! Barcelona 3-0 Deportivo La Coruna: What a magnificent team goal! A passing move releases Roberto down the right wing, who finds Suarez at the back post with a wonderful low cross. The striker then finished from a matter of yards.

70’ PENALTY KICK TO BARCELONA! Suarez goes down inside the box after a late challenge and Barca will have the chance from the spot.

71’ RUBEN DENIES MESSI! It's just not Messi's night. The Barcelona number 10 shoots at goal from the spot, but the Deportivo La Coruna goalkeeper guesses right and makes the stop.

75’ GOAL! Barcelona 4-0 Deportivo La Coruna: That's his second rebound finish of the night! Alba gets down the outside and hits the base of the post with a low shot, but Paulinho was on hand to turn home the rebound from close range.

79’ ANOTHER SITTER! How hasn't Messi scored this evening? He was played clean though again and this time he gets everything all wrong and sends his shot high and wide.

84’ OFF THE WOODWORK FOR A FIFTH TIME! Can you believe it? Barcelona have hit the woodwork again. This time it's Suarez who shoots at the near post, but can't beat Ruben.

KEY STATS
Lionel Messi has provided more assists than any other La Liga player in 2017 in all competitions (15).

Barcelona have not lost any of their 15 La Liga games in which Thomas Vermaelen has played.

Paulinho has scored more goals than any other midfielder in La Liga this season (six).

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