Argentine Striker Lionel Messi scored his 500th career goal, as Barcelona humiliated 10-man Valencia 7-0 in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final at Camp Nou on Wednesday.
Luis Suarez scored four times and Lionel Messi netted a hat-trick as Barcelona piled more misery on Gary Neville’s hapless reign as Valencia boss, leaving the semi-final emphatically settled before the second leg.
Gary Neville has won four of his first 15 games in charge at Valencia, with none of those coming in the league, and the pressure continues to mount on the English coach.
The host were ahead just after seven minutes, following a clinical finish from striker Luis Suarez, and the former Liverpool striker doubled the lead in the 12 minute.
Messi made it three from close range after another brilliance sequence of play from Andres Iniesta’s, Neymar and Suarez.
Neymar missed a penalty just before half-time after Valencia captain Shkodran Mustafi was sent off for bringing down Messi, who then notched his side’s fourth in the second half.
The Argentine sealed his treble with 16 minutes remaining, bringing his goal tally to 500, before Suarez headed home and struck again in the final minutes.
The current world player of the year has now scored 435 goals for Barcelona, 49 goals for Argentina, 14 goals for Argentina U20, and 2 goals for Argentina U23.
Luis Enrique’s side have won 12 of their last 13 games in all competitions and extend their unbeaten run to 27 matches.