Football

Neymar hits 100-goal mark for Barcelona

Barcelona made light of the suspended Lionel Messi's absence to remain just two points behind La Liga leaders Real Madrid as Neymar netted his 100th goal for the club in a 4-1 win at Granada yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Earlier, Real consolidated their advantage at the top thanks to goals from Karim Benzema, Isco and Nacho to beat Alaves 3-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Real still have a game in hand and the two will meet at the Bernabeu in three weeks' time.

"The games after an international break are always special because the players travel a lot and accumulate tiredness," said Barca boss Luis Enrique. "Playing away from home makes it even more difficult, but we overcame those problems very well."

Luis Suarez scored Barca's opener with a classy lob in the 44th minute and provided assists for Paco Alcacer and Ivan Rakitic to seal the points after the home side surprisingly drew level early in the second half through Jeremie Boga.

Neymar added extra gloss to the victory with his 100th goal for Barca by knocking in a cross from Alcacer in added time.

Meanwhile, Real were grateful for Alaves' wastefulness in front of goal as they moved a step closer to a first title in five years.

"Playing every three days, you can't always play perfectly for 90 minutes," said Real boss Zinedine Zidane.

"We were having problems, we weren't playing well and then all of a sudden Cristiano (Ronaldo) gets the ball, passes it to Isco and he controls and scores.

"That is what this team have. We know that at any moment we can hurt the opponents." - AFP

OTHER RESULTS

  • Sevilla 0 Sporting Gijon 0, 
Valencia 3 Deportivo La Coruna 0.
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