FOOTBALL: Luis Suárez hits four, Lionel Messi three as Barcelona rout Valencia

Luis Suárez and Lionel Messi hit hat-tricks as Barcelona routed 10-man Valencia in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final at the Camp Nou.
Suárez scored two early goals before Lionel Messi struck twice either side of the interval to take his career tally to 500 goals. Neymar missed a penalty in a one-sided first-half but his Argentinian team-mate completed his hat-trick late on.

The Uruguayan then joined his striking partner by heading in his third before claiming a fourth in the closing stages as the cup holders heaped more pressure on the Valencia manager, Gary Neville.
Neville’s side have failed to register a win in eight La Liga games since the England assistant coach was appointed in December.
Barcelona were seeking to extend their 26-game unbeaten streak in all competitions and the visitors got off the worst possible start after seven minutes.
Neymar dispossessed André Gomes inside the Valencia half before playing through Suárez, who fired a low shot past Mathew Ryan in the Valencia goal.
Suárez made it 33 goals in 33 appearances when Sergio Busquets floated a beautifully weighted pass into the path of Aleix Vidal, whose first-time pass was blasted past Ryan by the Uruguayan.
Andrès Iniesta then found Neymar on the edge of the area before the Brazilian’s cheeky backheel found the surging run of Messi, who slotted home.
Daniel Parejo headed over as the visitors had a rare glimpse at goal but they were lucky not to concede a fourth in the closing minutes of the first half.
Messi smacked his effort off the crossbar before Shkodran Mustafi was given his marching orders after denying a goalscoring opportunity for his challenge on the Argentinian inside the box.
With virtually the last kick on an eventful opening period Neymar missed the penalty as his effort hit the post.
The home fans roared on Valencia’s introduction of Denis Cheryshev, whose appearance in an earlier round for Real Madrid got them eliminated from the competition because of suspension, early in the second half.

Gerard Piqué, Messi and Busquets had chances to stretch the lead further after the break before the Barcelona fans were on their feet again as the Argentinian superstar grabbed his second.
Suárez’s flick reached the feet of Messi, who shuffled past the hapless Valencia defence before firing into the bottom corner - his 500th career goal for Barcelona.
Valencia thought they had scored a consolation in the 67th minute but Rodrigo’s effort was ruled out for offside.
Things went from bad to worse as Parejo carelessly lost possession and Messi beat Ryan at the near post.
Barcelona made it 6-0 when Suárez completed his hat-trick after Sergi Roberto found the forward at the far post to head in.
The former Liverpool striker completed the visitors’ misery with his 35th goal of the season, making next week’s second leg a formality for Luis Enrique’s men.

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