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Messi, Suarez finish off Osasuna to get Barca back on track

Messi sealed the points in the 72nd by finishing off another pass from Alba.

Barcelona players celebrate after securing a 3-0 win at struggling Osasuna on Saturday 10 December 2016. Picture: @FCBarcelona.

BARCELONA - Barcelona put pressure on La Liga leaders Real Madrid by picking up their first win in four games as two second-half strikes from Lionel Messi and one from Luis Suarez secured a 3-0 win at struggling Osasuna on Saturday.

The Spanish champions missed a slew of chances in a dominant first-half display but their class eventually shone through when Suarez tapped Jordi Alba's cutback into an empty net in the 52nd minute to break the deadlock.

Messi sealed the points in the 72nd by finishing off another pass from Alba and in stoppage time the Argentine wizard toyed with the Osasuna defence to grab the third and move ahead of Suarez and Cristiano Ronaldo as the league's top scorer with 11 goals.

Barca are second in the standings and provisionally moved three points behind Real, who host Deportivo La Coruna later on Saturday hoping to set a club record of 35 games unbeaten in all competitions.

"We had a lot of chances and we knew that as soon as we got ahead it would open up. Fortunately, we were able to see out the game," Suarez told reporters.

"We can't give up the fight, we're Barca and we're title candidates, we won't give up whether we're five, six or seven points behind."

Osasuna went into the game bottom of the table and with the worst home record in the league and Barca were all over the home side in the opening half an hour.

Suarez arrowed a shot just wide of the far post after mesmeric play by Messi in the opening stages and struck the post moments later.

Suarez played in his strike partner but Messi's shot was blocked by Osasuna goalkeeper Nauzet Perez, who later tipped Messi's attempted lob over the bar.

Barca were almost caught out from Osasuna's only chance of the half when Miguel De Las Cuevas burst down the right and rolled the ball across the box towards striker Oriol Riera, who narrowly failed to make the contact for an
equaliser.

The champions were given another fright early in the second half when Sergio Leon skipped towards the area and attempted an audacious chip which clipped the crossbar.

The Catalans eventually made the most of their momentum when Messi created a gap around the area with a jinking run and slid the ball into the path of Alba who rolled it across for Suarez to tap into the net from close range.

Hungry for more, Messi gave the ball to Denis Suarez who again found Alba and Messi nipped ahead of his marker to turn the cross into the far corner.

The Argentine was far from done, however, and skipped past five Osasuna players before blasting beyond Perez.

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