La Liga: Messi Scores On Return

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Lionel Messi took just three minutes to score on his return from injury as Barcelona enjoyed the perfect preparation for the visit of Manchester City in midweek with a 4-0 thrashing of Deportivo la Coruna on yesterday.

The Spanish champions were already 3-0 up thanks to Luis Suarez and a double from Rafinha when Messi was introduced after nearly a month out with a groin problem just before the hour mark and wasted no time in scoring his ninth goal of the season.

Barca trail league leaders Sevilla by a point after the Andalusians won away from home in La Liga for the first time in 23 games, triumphing 3-2 at Leganes.

Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid can move back to the top of the table when they face Granada and Real Betis respectively later on Saturday.

“It was a complete performance,” said Barca boss Luis Enrique.

“We have Leo back and it took him no time to be back in top form.”

Barca have traditionally struggled on weekends following international breaks and fell to a shock 2-1 defeat at home to Alaves on their return to action in September.

Deportivo had also drawn 2-2 on their last two visits to the Camp Nou, but never threatened another upset as Barca got back to winning ways after losing 4-3 to Celta Vigo two weeks ago.

Neymar smashed a volley against the bar and Suarez somehow headed the rebound over early on.

However, Barca had to wait just 21 minutes to open the scoring when Rafinha exchanged a one-two with Suarez before drilling a low shot that had too much power for German Lux.

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