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Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez Penalty Revelation Made by Neymar After Celta Vigo Win

FC Barcelona's Neymar, right, celebrates a goal with his teammates Luis Suarez, center, and Lionel Messi against Celta Vigo during a Spanish La Liga soccer match at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Manu Fernandez/Associated Press
Rory MarsdenFeatured ColumnistDecember 26, 2016

Lionel Messi's audacious penalty assist against Celta Vigo on Sunday was meant to set up Neymar to score rather than Luis Suarez, according to the Brazilian superstar.

For Barcelona's fourth goal of their 6-1 drubbing of Celta, Messi channelled Johan Cruyff as he laid the ball off to his right from the penalty spot for the onrushing Suarez to slot home, as the Leo Messi fan account showed on Twitter:

Neymar was also driving into the penalty box and revealed after Barca's superlative display that he was meant to be on the end of Messi's left-footed tap, per Barca TV (via the Daily Mail's Pete Jenson).

"It was for me, we had practiced it in training," he said. "Leo and myself had practiced, but Luis was closer and he scored it. Our friendship is the most important thing. It doesn't matter who scores the goals, just that we win the games."

The 81st-minute spot-kick routine saw Suarez complete a hat-trick, with further goals from Ivan Rakitic and Neymar before the final whistle topping off an outrageous second-half display from the Blaugrana.

John Guidetti penalty before half-time had cancelled out Messi's opener, but five goals after the break from Luis Enrique's side had pundits purring in admiration, per Spanish football writers Rik Sharma and Graham Ruthven:

The victory also secured a club record as they extended their unbeaten run to 30 consecutive matches, per the Champions League.

Barca are three points clear of second-place Atletico Madrid at the top of the La Liga table and could extend that advantage when they play their game in hand against Sporting Gijon on Wednesday.

As Bleacher Report's Sam Tighe noted, the Catalan giants look primed for a second consecutive treble win this season:

They are in the final of the Copa del Rey against Sevilla, and their Champions League last-16 tie with Arsenal will get under way in Feb. 23's first leg.

While the Gunners have been in decent form, they will be significant underdogs, given the quality Enrique's side have displayed in recent weeks.

Per Jenson, the Barcelona boss had to defend his star forwards from accusations that their penalty antics showed a lack of respect for their opponents.

However, most hailed the audacity and effectiveness of the move as another display of bravura football from one of the best sides in history.

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