Barcelona ace Suarez: Coutinho very different man and player to Liverpool days

Dembele has only started three games for Barca

Luis Suarez fired a hat-trick and Lionel Messi a brace as Barcelona ran riot in a 6-1 win against Girona to stay on course for their 25th LaLiga title.

In the second half, Coutinho netted a sensational fifth before Suarez completed the rout, tapping in from Ousmane Dembele's cross.

The absence of a first clash right-back last season following the departure of Dani Alves was Barcelona's undoing last season - with Sergi Roberto often forced to slot in.

Nelson Semedo was suspended for the Champions League game against Chelsea on Tuesday, but he is available for this match and Valverde has no players banned this weekend.

Amid Valverde's decision, Barcelona are fearful of losing Iniesta as they are pinning their hopes on him guiding them to Champions League glory.

Second-placed Atletico Madrid could narrow their points gap on Barca to seven if they beat Sevilla away this morning.

Suarez restored parity two minutes later when he was played through on goal by Messi.

Philippe Coutinho had his moment to shine after Suarez's second goal when he curled home a brilliant strike from outside the area to make it 5-1 in the 66th.

"He is a player who adapts well to playing at the back".

There is a lovely symmetry that Coutinho's first goal was assisted by Suarez and his first assist was scored by the Uruguayan, they're best mates too you know. Although Suarez scored a fine hat-trick, it was Lionel Messi who was the star of the show.

Ronaldo struck Real's third goal of the day and his 299th in La Liga in the 61st minute, meeting a cutback from in-form winger Lucas Vazquez first time and sending it under the reach of former Real goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco.

Barcelona continued to attack after the break as Suarez hit the post with a shot, Messi stung Bono's palms, and Dembele cut inside and curled a shot just wide. He spins back towards goal on the edge of the box and curls home a right-footed finish, in off the inside of the post.

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