Ballon d’Or holder Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick and Luis Suarez added four goals as Barcelona thrashed 10-man Valencia 7-0 in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final at Camp Nou on Wednesday night.
Valencia were three goals down inside 29 minutes and were forced to play the entirety of the second period with 10 players when Shkodran Mustafi was given his marching orders for a challenge on Messi inside the penalty box.
The night ended in humiliation for Gary Neville, however, as his team conceded on four more occasions in the second half to make next week’s second leg at the Mestalla a non-event.
Barcelona started on the front foot and it took just seven minutes for the home side to break the deadlock.
Once again the move involved Neymar, who carried the ball into the Valencia half before sliding a pass into Suarez and the striker placed his low effort past Mathew Ryan to make it 32 goals in his last 33 appearances for the Catalan giants.
That quickly became 33 in 33, however, as Suarez scored his second of the match in the 12th minute – finishing off an excellent move which involved Sergio Busquets and Aleix Vidal.
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