With doubts hanging over Barcelona's ability to cope under the La Liga pressure, following three straight league defeats, the MSN trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar had to answer in their match against Deportivo at the Riazor. Well, led by Suarez, the three world-class strikers and Barca did just that in an 8-0 hammering of the home team to reassert their authority in Spanish football.
Suarez scored four goals in the rout, with Messi and Neymar grabbing one each, while the Uruguayan also finished with three assists on a night when everything finally went right for Barcelona.
The former Liverpool striker started the scoring in the 11th minute, before making it 2-0 on 24 minutes, after Barcelona survived a fair amount of early chances from Deportivo. The champions would have felt relieved to go into halftime a couple of goals up and with a clean sheet intact.
Ivan Rakitic opened the scoring in the second period, two minutes in, before Suarez completed his hat-trick and his fourth goal in the space of 11 minutes. Messi made it 6-0 for Barcelona on 73 minutes, before Marc Bartra, only starting the game because Gerard Pique was injured, and Neymar added the icing to a much-needed winning cake.
"We played a great game and were very effective, creating infinite options," Barcelona manager Luis Enrique told the club's official website. "It was a spectacular result for us. We didn't concede any goals and won away from home.
"We moved down the wings really well, with Leo making his superiority tell, and we made sure we took our early chances. From there on, everything was on a roll."
Barcelona now have four games to go in the season, and they will probably need to win them all to retain their title. Atletico Madrid, who are level on points with Barca, but are second with an inferior head-to-head record, and Real Madrid, in third place with a point less, both won their matches on Wednesday as well, to ensure the pressure would stay on Enrique's men.
"We have a wonderful challenge ahead of us," Enrique added. "And that challenge is to retain the league title. But there are still four games to go and I'm sure it's not going to be easy."