Messi, Suarez fire Barca to third Club World Cup

 Image result for lionel messi, neymar, suarez
Lionel Messi marked his return from illness with a brilliant goal as
Barcelona beat Argentina’s River Plate 3-0 to capture a record third
Club World Cup on Sunday. The Spanish giants welcomed back Messi after a
bout of kidney stones and the mercurial Argentine scored with a
clinical finish on 36 minutes, before a lethal Luis Suarez double
destroyed River’s hopes.

“We came here to win the title and it was important to get the job
done,” said Suarez, who picked up the player of the tournament and
golden boot award after finishing with five goals. “We stayed calm and
played our game until Leo scored the first goal. More than my goals, it
was just important to get our hands on the trophy.”

Neymar, himself returning to the side after a groin strain, was
instrumental in Barcelona’s opener, climbing to knock down a Dani Alves
cross for Messi to steer past River goalkeeper Marcelo Barovero with a
deft flick of his left boot. Suarez, who scored a hat-trick in Barca’s
3-0 semi-final win over Guangzhou Evergrande, scored a second with a
fierce low drive four minutes into the second half.

The former Liverpool striker grabbed his second of the night when he
dispatched a thumping header past Barovero after a pinpoint cross from
Neymar. River Plate’s starting eleven cost a total of some six million
dollars, while Barcelona paid $85 million for Suarez alone, and the gulf
in class showed.

The Catalans, who had already collected the Champions League, Spain’s
La Liga, the Copa del Rey and European Super Cup this year, tore River
to shreds in the second half. Neymar also came close to scoring with a
curling effort that shaved the bar.

Barcelona goalkeeper Claudio Bravo was a spectator for much of the
game on a cold night but made an acrobatic save from River substitute
Gonzalo Martinez seven minutes from time to deny the South Americans a
consolation goal.

Messi, who forced a smart save from Barovero in the early skirmishes
and could himself have finished with a hat-trick, became the first
player to score in three finals after leading Barca to victory in 2009
and 2011. “Messi and Neymar wanted to play in the final, no matter
what,” said Suarez. “It shows the sacrifice that there is in the group
that they did everything to play.”

The Uruguayan warned that Barca were still hungry for more
success. “After a competition like this the majority of teams have a
dip,” he said. “But we have to avoid that and we have the desire to keep
winning titles and be the best team in the world.”

Updated: May 27, 2018 — 7:58 pm

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