MSN all score as Barca closes on La Liga glory

Luis Enrique's men ensured there would be no repeat of the 2007 'Tamudazo' derby, where a draw in the penultimate match of the season allowed Real Madrid to win that year's league under Fabio Capello.

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Barca will travel to Andalucia next week hoping for an equally influential MSN display as it closes on the title.

Barcelona is one win away from defending its Liga title after romping to a 5-0 derby success over Espanyol at Camp Nou on Sunday.

Luis Enrique's men ensured there would be no repeat of the 2007 'Tamudazo' derby, where a draw in the penultimate match of the season allowed Real Madrid to win that year's league under Fabio Capello.

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A brilliant early free-kick from Lionel Messi sent Barca on its way, before Luis Suarez scored twice in the second half to make it 11 goals from his last four league appearances.

Substitute Rafinha Alcantara and Neymar wrapped up the victory with strikes in the closing stages as Barca eased to a fourth straight win, in which it has scored 21 goals without conceding.

A good day for Barca got even better as closest rival Atletico Madrid suffered a shock 2-1 loss at relegated Levante to crash out of the title race, although Real Madrid defeated Valencia 3-2 and remain just a point off the pace.

Real is now the only team which can catch Barca, which goes into the final weekend of the season knowing a win at Granada will ensure it is crowned champions again.

Barca's post-Clasico wobble is now well and truly behind them and it was on its way after eight minutes when Messi – who had won the free-kick himself – curled a magnificent effort into the top corner.

The host thought it had made it two a few moments later, but Ivan Rakitic was denied by the offside flag as he helped Messi's shot over the line in a crowded six-yard box after Suarez's initial effort had been saved.

Neymar came close with a free-kick of his own, while Felipe Caicedo shot straight at Marc-Andre ter Stegen – starting in place of the injured Claudio Bravo in Barca's only change – at the other end.

Messi had a strong claim for a penalty turned down when Ruben Duarte appeared to trip him as he attempted to collect his own blocked shot in the area but Barca doubled the lead inside seven minutes of the restart when a loose pass from Pape Diop was seized upon by Dani Alves, allowing Suarez to take one touch and finish comfortably.

Suarez then netted his 37th league goal of the season just after the hour mark, freeing himself from the attention of Javi Lopez to head in Neymar's corner, and score the 1,000th in this La Liga campaign.

With 16 minutes to go, Espanyol goalkeeper Pau inexplicably let a harmless Neymar cross find Rafinha at the far post, leaving him with the simplest of tasks to tap home his first league goal of an injury-interrupted season.

Neymar got on the scoresheet himself after 83 minutes, slotting home at the far post after Alves and Suarez combined impressively to create the opportunity, and Barca will travel to Andalucia next week hoping for an equally influential MSN display as it closes on the title.

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