World of Sport Reporter: @worldofsport
Barcelona hammered Levante 3-0 at the Nou Camp to maintain their 9-point lead over 2nd placed Atelico Madrid at the top of La Liga.
It was Lionel Messi’s 400th appearance for Barca and he marked this new milestone with a goal, after 12 minutes, that set Barca on their way.
A one-two with Jordi Alba saw the Argentine volley home, and after that there was only going to be one outcome. It was Messi’s 365th goal for Barcelona and it equalled Gerd Muller's record for goals in one of Europe's top five leagues.
Luis Suarez made it 2-0 just before half time with a superb strike. It was the Uruguayan’s 11th goal of the season, and but for some fine saves from Oier in the Levante goal, he would have had a few more.
A low Messi cross in injury time opened up the space for Paulinho to slot home the easiest of goals to seal Barcelona’s dominant win.
Philippe Coutinho wasn’t at the game surprisingly, but no doubt he would have been impressed with his new side’s display. The Liverpool striker will undergo a medical today and sign probably today, too.
But where will Coutinho fit in to Barcelona’s star-studded line up? Many people say he’s the long-term replacement for Andres Iniesta, who is 33 year’s old, now. At £142m he will not be sitting on the bench until Iniesta does retire.
The forward line-up of Barcelona is strong, and no doubt they will rotate, but it will be interesting to see who gets picked for the big La Liga and Champions League matches.