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Friday, November 6, 2015, Kartik 22, 1422 BS, Muharram 23, 1437 Hijri


Neymar, Suarez double act eases Barca past BATE
Published :Friday, 6 November, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 8

Barcelona, Nov 5: Neymar scored twice as defending champions Barcelona moved to the brink of sealing their place in the last 16 of the Champions League with a 3-0 win over BATE Borisov on Wednesday.
The Brazilian opened the scoring from the penalty spot before teeing up Luis Suarez to double the hosts' advantage.
Suarez then returned the favour for Neymar to round off the scoring.
The South American strike duo have now scored 18 of Barca's last 21 goals in all competitions in the prolonged absence of the injured Lionel Messi.
However, there was another injury blow for Luis Enrique's men as Ivan Rakitic hobbled off with a calf problem that could now keep him out of the visit to Real Madrid later this month.
Victory strengthens Barcelona's position atop Group E, five points clear of second-placed Roma, who beat Bayer Leverkusen 3-2 in the other game in the group on Wednesday.
Before kick-off Barca showed their outrage at a UEFA fine for the displaying of flags in support of Catalan independence at their last home Champions League against Leverkusen.
An estimated 30,000 of the flags were handed out to fans by pro-independence campaigners and a huge banner saying "respecte" (respect in Catalan) was hung from the stands.
The Champions League anthem was also whistled for which UEFA opened an investigation into Manchester City after their clash with Sevilla a fortnight ago.
Once the game got underway it was once again the Neymar and Suarez show in Messi's absence.
Suarez had the first big chance of the game after just four minutes, but failed to hit the target from Neymar's lovely lofted pass.
BATE 'keeper Sergey Chernik was quick off his line to prevent Neymar as he burst clear on goal moments later.
However, Barca were stung when Rakitic was forced off with a calf problem that makes him a doubt for the season's first El Clasico in 17 days time.    AFP









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