The trio struck as Luis Enrique’s side responded to their La Liga defeat on Sunday by producing a one-sided demolition of the visitors to all but end this Copa del Rey tie
Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez all found the back of the net as Barcelona destroyed Elche 5-0 in the first-leg of their last-16 Copa del Rey tie.
The breakthrough came on 34 minutes when Neymar side-footed home from close range and they turned on the style as Suarez and a Messi penalty made it 3-0 at half-time.
Jordi Alba made it four early in the second half before Neymar added his second in the 59th minute to complete the scoring.
The victory eases the pressure on coach Luis Enrique, who came in for criticism after dropping Messi to the bench as the Catalans were beaten 1-0 by Real Sociedad in La Liga on Sunday.
Barca started brightly on Tuesday night as the Argentine, swiftly restored to the starting XI, jinked through the Elche defence and fired straight at Przemyslaw Tyton after 10 minutes.
Dani Alves then went close with a long-range effort after Titon elected to punch Messi’s inswinging free-kick, while Neymar dinked his team-mate’s lofted pass wide of the visiting goal before the half-hour mark.
The Brazilian wasn’t do be denied, though and finished off a neat passing move by passing the ball into the back of the net from a matter of yards out.
Suarez was the man to assist – squaring for the Brazilian to break the deadlock and open his Copa account for the season.
The Uruguayan was involved again five minutes later, when he cleverly dummied a ball from Alves to bamboozle his marker before firing past Titon.
And things got worse for Elche prior to half-time as Enzo Roco brought down Neymar in the area – allowing Messi to tuck home a third.
It then took the hosts just 10 minutes of the second half to extend their lead, as Alba applied the finish following Messi’s pass out wide, and Neymar then scored arguably the goal of the game with a long-range strike that took a slight deflection on its way in.
The victory all but confirms Barcelona’s passage into the quarter-finals of the competition with the second leg still to play.
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