Suarez the new leader of Barcelona's 'MSN' strike force
By Richard Martin
BARCELONA (Reuters) - Barcelona’s celebrated ‘MSN’ strike force of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar had La Liga defenses at their mercy for much of the campaign but as Barca swept to the title by winning their final five games it was Suarez who led the three-pronged attack.
The Uruguayan scored 14 goals in those five games, sealing the title with a hat-trick in the 3-0 title clincher at Granada on Saturday, ending the campaign on 40 goals and finishing as top scorer in Spain and Europe.
His goal-scoring outshone that of his partners: Messi hit three goals in the five games, while Neymar had two goals, one of them from the penalty spot.
The Brazilian had the chance to have the final say in the win at Granada when he got through on goal but he selflessly teed up Suarez for a hat-trick.
Neymar was reportedly told by Argentine team mate Javier Mascherano recently to “stop being selfish and play for the team”.
Neymar's pass for Suarez’s third goal and his intelligent ball to Jordi Alba that lead to the Uruguayan’s opening strike were proof that the message had got through.
Earlier in the season Neymar was the team’s figurehead, stepping up a level while Messi was out for eight weeks with a knee injury.
Although Neymar finished the season with 24 goals, two more than last term, his form nosedived toward the end of the season and he was portrayed as the scapegoat for Barca’s surprise stutter in April. Continued...