Champions League

Neymar shining in Messi absence

2015-11-05 13:22
Neymar (AFP)

Barcelona - Brazilian striker Neymar said he is in the form of his life after netting twice as Barcelona eased past BATE Borisov 3-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Neymar also set up Barca's other goal on the night for Luis Suarez as the defending champions moved to within a point of sealing their place in the last 16.

Suarez and Neymar have now combined for 18 of Barca's last 21 goals since four-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi suffered knee ligament damage nearly six weeks ago.

Barca remain hopeful Messi could be fit to face Real Madrid in just over two weeks' time.

But Neymar admitted he is enjoying sharing the responsibility of leading the Catalans along with Suarez in Messi's absence.

"It is clear we miss Messi, but I am in the form of my life and I hope to continue like this," he said.

Neymar opened the scoring from the penalty spot before teeing up Suarez to double the advantage on the hour mark.

The Uruguayan then returned the favour as his unselfish pass presented Neymar with an open goal for his second of the night and 11th of the season seven minutes from time.

"Half the goal belongs to Suarez. He is a star and in great form."

The South American duo's hot streak of late has wiped away early season fears of Barca's lack of killer instinct in front of goal.

However, coach Luis Enrique insisted he never doubted his star forward line would come good.

"We never doubted we would get our killer touch back given the profile of the players we have up front," he said.

"Given their quality and the chances the team creates, it was never in doubt."

Read more on:    barcelona  |  uefa champions league  |  neymar  |  soccer
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