Soccer: Barca win easily at Leganes, Atletico thrash Sporting

Sat Sep 17, 2016 5:35pm EDT
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By Richard Martin

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Barcelona's attacking trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar were all on target as the champions roared back into life in La Liga by thrashing promoted Leganes 5-1 away on Saturday, while Atletico Madrid thumped visitors Sporting Gijon 5-0.

Atletico strikers Antoine Griezmann, Fernando Torres and Kevin Gameiro all found the net as Diego Simeone's side warmed up for next Wednesday's visit to the Nou Camp.

Elsewhere, Las Palmas maintained their excellent start to the campaign by beating Malaga 1-0, and Sevilla's 15-month wait for an away victory continued after they were held to a 1-1 draw at nine-man Eibar.

Messi sidefooted in a simple cross from Suarez to strike the opening goal for Barca after 15 minutes and returned the favor for the Uruguayan to nudge in the second in the 31st.

Neymar stretched Barca's lead to three goals on the stroke of half-time, tapping in another lay off from Suarez, before Messi got his second from the penalty spot 10 minutes into the second half.

Rafinha rounded off the most comfortable of Barca victories with a curled finish in the 64th minute, although Gabriel Appelt salvaged a goal for the Madrid minnows in the 80th with a free-kick whipped into the top corner.

Barcelona, beaten 2-1 by newcomers Alaves last weekend in their first loss at the Nou Camp since April 17, now have nine points from their first four La Liga games.

They join Real, who can go clear again when they play at Espanyol on Sunday, and Las Palmas at the league's summit, while Atletico are one point behind.   Continued...

Football Soccer - Spanish Liga Santander - Leganes v Barcelona - Butarque stadium, Leganes, Spain 17/09/16 Barcelona's Lionel Messi scores a goal from the penalty spot. REUTERS/Sergio Perez