Neymar had two goals and an assist as Barcelona beat BATE Borisov 3-0 in the team’s Group E Champions League match on Wednesday in front of 68,500 spectators at the Camp Nou.
The Brazilian got Barcelona on the scoreboard from the penalty spot in the 30th minute after Munir El Haddadi was hauled down in the box by Borisov’s Filip Mladenovic. Munir had come on for Ivan Rakitic, who left in the 20th minute with an apparent injury.
Neymar has now scored eight goals in seven games since Lionel Messi went down with a knee injury at the end of September.
A headed opportunity at the close of the first half from Neymar would have given Barca a two-goal cushion at the break, but the ball sailed over the crossbar.
The Catalan club dominated possession and shots on goal throughout the first half by a four-to-one margin and were unlucky to not have scored more.
Barcelona continued to pressure the Belarusian club straight out of the gates in the second half.
Luis Suarez was denied in the 50th minute from a corner kick, when his effort from close range was blocked by Borisov goalkeeper Sergey Chernik.
The Uruguayan would get Barca’s second 10 minutes later though, after Neymar found Suarez at the top of the Borisov penalty area on a counterattack. Suarez took one touch to his left and calmly slotted home past Chernik from 18 yards out.
With a two-goal lead in hand, Barcelona began to open up their play with Neymar, Suarez and Andres Iniesta pushing for a third. A Suarez cross found Neymar at the far post, but the No. 11’s scissor-kick volley trickled wide of the Borisov goal.
Barca finally broke through for their third on another counterattack. Luis Suarez took a pass at midfield and dribbled all the way to the edge of the Borisov penalty area where he found a charging Neymar, who poked home for his second of the match.
The win keeps Barcelona at the top of Group E and in excellent position to advance to the knockout rounds.