The ‘MSN’ were in full swing as they made light work of Barcelona’s 4-0 victory over Real Sociedad in La Liga on Saturday.
Javier Mascherano and Andres Iniesta both missed Tuesday’s 6-1 demolition of Roma through injury, but they returned against La Real as Jordi Alba was rested for Jeremy Mathieu at left-back.
Eusebio Sacristan, meanwhile, led out the Basques against his former club, and his association with the hosts was seen by the high pressing his new team adopted from the offset.
However, their high line was quickly infiltrated by Barca, who pierced the visitors’ defence at will with a variety of short and long balls on the deck and over the top.
Unsurprisingly, their efforts were rewarded, firstly through Dani Alves, who was released down the right by Lionel Messi’s delightful flick and had his square ball into the box resoundingly met by Neymar.
The right-back’s influence in the match grew at a rate of knots as he was also behind Barca’s second goal, his deep cross being met by Luis Suarez at the far post and the No 9 smashing a volley past Geronimo Rulli.
Barca continued to dominate La Real after the restart and grabbed a third goal when Andres Iniesta played through Mathieu down the left. The Frenchman then put the ball on a plate for Neymar to grab his second of the afternoon at the back post.
They took their foot off the gas as they tried to see the game out with the minimal amount of fuss but let Real in on a few occasions, Bruma – who notably injected pace and width into the away team’s attack – forcing Gerard Pique into a goal-line clearance.
Nonetheless, Messi – on his 600th career appearance – eventually got his goal after he hit the crossbar from a free kick and fail to make a pair of volleys count as he was at the right place at the right time in the box to mop up Neymar’s low cross.
Barcelona 4-0 Real Sociedad
Neymar 22, 53, Suarez 41, Messi 90
Barcelona: Bravo; Mathieu (Alba 66), Pique, Mascherano (Bartra 69), Alves (Adriano 62); Busquets, Rakitic, Iniesta; Messi, Suarez, Neymar
Real Sociedad: Rulli; Elustondo, Mikel, Inigo, Yuri; Granero, Pardo; Vela (Bruma 81), Prieto, Canales (Oiarzabal 58); Agirretxe (Litri 73)
Referee: Iglesias Villanueva