Luis Suarez netted four times and set up three more to help Barcelona to an 8-0 win over Deportivo La Coruna at Estadio Riazor on Wednesday, ending the champion's four-game winless streak in La Liga.
Luis Enrique men's desperately needed to respond after defeats at the hands of Real Madrid, Real Sociedad and Valencia had eroded their lead at the top of the standings, leaving them level on points with second-placed Atletico Madrid.
Suarez led his team all the way as he took his tally for 2015-16 to 49 goals in all competitions, equalling his season's best at Ajax in 2009-10. >READ: Spectacular Barca delight Luis Enrique
The Uruguay international opened the scoring early on after a corner from Ivan Rakitic, before doubling Barca's lead after a sublime assist from Lionel Messi. Suarez then turned provider as he set up Rakitic for the Catalans' third early in the second half, only to find the net two more times in the remainder of the game to take his tally in La Liga this season to 30.
Barcelona did not stop there, though, as Messi, Marc Bartra and Neymar heaped more misery on the host, the Catalan giant restoring its three-point lead before Atletico drew level again with a win at Athletic Bilbao.
The away side had pushed hard for an early goal from kick-off and threatened via Suarez and Messi in the opening 10 minutes, the former firing just wide from a narrow angle after a clever ball from Andres Iniesta, before the Argentine had his attempt kept out by Deportivo goalkeeper Manu.
The Catalans got their early opening in the 11th minute. Suarez shrugged off Sidnei after a corner from Rakitic and left Manu no chance, volleying home from close range. Suarez then struck again to double Barcelona's lead in the 24th minute. Messi found his Uruguayan team-mate with a delicate throughball and the former Liverpool ace beat Manu with a calm finish.
The prolific attacker should have gotten his hat-trick after a superb cross from Dani Alves from the right, but he miraculously managed to steer it wide from just yards out.
Rakitic worsened Deportivo's woes in the 47th minute, making it three after some great work from Suarez. There was no stopping Suarez at the Riazor and the striker got his hat-trick in the 53rd minute, slotting past Manu with the outside of his right boot after another Messi assist.
Things went from bad to worse for Deportivo and Suarez got his fourth of the evening after some good work from Neymar. That was not the end of it just yet, though, as Suarez then lost his marker with a fine individual action before reaching Messi to make it 6-0.
Bartra also found the net late on after a strong solo run, while Neymar made it eight after yet another Suarez assist as Barcelona returned to winning ways in impressive fashion.
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