Neymar, Messi, Suarez score as Barcelona thrash Sporting Gijon

Barcelona celebrate after Luis Suarez scores a goal in a comprehensive victory over Sporting Gijon.
Barcelona celebrate after Luis Suarez scores a goal in a comprehensive victory over Sporting Gijon.

Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar were all on target as Barcelona cruised to a 6-1 La Liga win over Sporting Gijon on Wednesday night.

Title-chasing Barca were 2-0 up after 11 minutes through Messi and a Juan Rodriguez own goal.

Relegation-threatened Sporting pulled one back after 21 minutes through Carlos Castro, but Suarez restored the two-goal lead before half-time.

Paco Alcacer added a fourth within four minutes of his half-time introduction in place of Suarez.

And Neymar struck his first home league goal of the campaign, in his 10th game at the Nou Camp, as Barca made it five before Ivan Rakitic added a late sixth.

Barca boss Luis Enrique began his career with Sporting and holds them in his affections.

But there was no room for sentiment as Barca took control of the contest with two goals in three first-half minutes.

Javier Mascherano found Messi, who was played onside, and the Argentina forward looped a header over Sporting's advancing goalkeeper Ivan Cuellar.

Suarez doubled the lead shortly afterwards after being found by Neymar's pass.

The former Liverpool striker rounded Cuellar and squeezed the ball goalward, only for Sporting's Rodriguez to get the final touch and be credited with the goal.

Sporting pulled a goal back when Castro reacted first after Sergio Alvarez had hit a post.

Suarez swiftly restored Barca's two-goal cushion, netting six minutes later. The Uruguayan struck a vicious volley past Cuellar after Sporting's Jean-Sylvain Babin failed to clear.

Suarez was risking a suspension which would rule him out of the next match with Celta Vigo, so he was replaced at the interval, with Alcacer introduced.

Messi forced Babin into an error and found the substitute, who struck a fine left-footed shot into the left corner.

Messi clipped a free kick inches over before himself departing and next Neymar found the net from a set-piece.

From the "wrong" side for a right-footed strike, Neymar curled the ball over the wall and inside the near post.

Rakitic added a late sixth after combining with Sergi Roberto and finishing emphatically beyond Cuellar.