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Barcelona too strong for Deportivo La Coruna

Barcelona have moved six points clear at the top of La Liga courtesy of a 4-0 victory over Deportivo La Coruna at Camp Nou.

Luis Suarez and Paulinho both scored twice for the Catalan giants, who have now won 13 and drawn three of their 16 league matches at the start of the 2017-18 campaign.

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde made two changes to the team that started their win at Villarreal last time out, with Denis Suarez and Sergio Busquets being replaced by Andres Iniesta and Paco Alcacer.

As for Deportivo, it was the same XI that started their 1-0 win over Leganes last weekend, with on-loan Arsenal forward Lucas Perez featuring at the tip of their attack.

Lionel Messi had a super chance to send Barcelona ahead inside the first four minutes, but the Argentine lifted the ball over the crossbar after smart work from Iniesta in a wide area.

Luis Suarez did have the ball in the back of the net in the sixth minute, but the Uruguay international’s effort was ruled to be offside, and it was the correct call.

Messi stung the palms of Ruben in the 14th minute as Barcelona continued to press, before the Deportivo goalkeeper made a really smart save to keep out the same player in the 27th minute.

Ruben then kept out an effort from Vidal as the pressure mounted on the away side’s goal, but the breakthrough came in the 29th minute when Luis Suarez converted a low Messi cross from close range.

Messi then hit the crossbar with a curling effort in the 37th minute as Deportivo continued to struggle.

The second goal was always likely to arrive late in the first period, and it was Paulinho that finished from close range in the 41st minute after Messi’s strike from inside the Deportivo box had hit the post.

Luis Suarez had the chance to make it three in the final stages of the first half, but the striker’s rabona effort, which initially looked to be in, was adjudged to have been saved by Ruben.

The Uruguay international was not to be denied early in the second period, however, as he converted a low Sergi Roberto cross in the 47th minute to send Barcelona three goals ahead at Camp Nou.

Messi struck the woodwork for a third time in the 67th minute with a rasping free kick, before the Argentine just missed the post with a powerful strike moments later as the home side looked to make it 4-0.

A smart piece of goalkeeping from Ruben prevented Luis Suarez from having an open goal 20 minutes from time, before the Deportivo stopper kept out a Messi penalty moments later after Luis Suarez had gone down inside the box under a challenge from Federico Valverde.

Barcelona had their fourth in the 75th minute, however, when Paulinho converted from close range after Jordi Alba had hit the post.

Messi and Luis Suarez both had golden chances to add to the scoring late on, but the former fired wide from a central position before the latter hit the post in the 84th minute.

The final whistle blew at 4-0, but it could have been seven or eight such was Barcelona’s dominance, and the Catalan outfit will enter next weekend’s El Clasico with an 11-point advantage over the reigning champions Real Madrid

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