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Suarez crashed a shot against a post early in the second half and Bono's save denied Messi his hat trick before Coutinho showcased his talents with a superb curling effort to put Barcelona 5-1 ahead in the 66th minute.

But, before the dust had settled on the shock opener to the game, Barcelona were soon level when Lionel Messi provided the ideal assist for Luis Suarez to score.

FC Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde has explained how superstar Lionel Messi shocked him in the club's 6-1 LaLiga win on Saturday night.

Messi fired home his first after taking Suarez's pass and cutting inside when it seemed the chance had been lost and seven minutes later he drilled a low free kick beneath the wall to leave Bono stranded. But, after his side had struggled to a 1-1 draw at Chelsea in the Champions League last Tuesday, the coach opted for an ultra-attacking 4-3-3 against Girona, with Dembele often joining the South American trio to create a ruthless four-man attack. "It sounds easy but it is not", said Barca coach Ernesto Valverde.

It was Messi's 371st league goal in just 407 appearances for the club. Zidane restored Bale to the starting XI to reunite the "BBC" front line of the Welshman, Ronaldo and Benzema.

"It didn't surprise me to see him emerge as a player because I knew the quality he had, but I admire the responsibility he took on at such a young age". "He (Ronaldo) had opportunities, he scored twice".

"This proves that between them, there is a good atmosphere, a good relationship, and to win and continue what we're doing, it's super important".