Lionel Messi rewarded a homage by
Defeat relegates Osasuna after just one season back in the top-flight after
The much-criticised Andre Gomes and Paco Alcacer also bagged doubles, while Javier Mascherano scored his first Barca goal in seven years with the club from the penalty spot.
“We had the chance to use a lot of players that have played fewer minutes,” said Barca boss Luis Enrique.
“It is a game that boosts those individuals, the team as a whole and gives us hope for the end of the season.”
Messi’s brilliance against
A huge “Thanks Leo” banner was raised before kickoff at
The five-time World Player of the Year responded by opening the scoring two minutes later as he pounced on an error in the Osasuna defence to stroll through on goal, and lift the ball over the advancing Salvatore Sirigu.
Gomes has been the scapegoat for many of Barca’s most disappointing defeats this season.
But the Portuguese had arguably his best night in a Barca shirt as he drilled home Ivan Rakitic’s cross to make it 2-0 on the half hour.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen was Barca’s other hero from the weekend with a string of stunning saves. However, the German international was caught out by Roberto Torres’s free kick, which brought Osasuna back into the game three minutes into the second half.
Barca, though, simply went through the gears with a four-goal burst in 10 devastating minutes. Firstly, Gomes slotted home his second of the night after Gerard Pique’s initial effort came back off the post.
Messi then curled in his 49th goal in 47 appearances this season from the edge of the area. And the Argentine instantly made way for 19-year-old Carles Alena to keep him fresh for Saturday’s Catalan derby at Espanyol.
Alcacer then finished on the stretch for Barca’s fifth.
And when Denis Suarez was felled in the area seconds later, the cry went round the
Alcacer rounded off the scoring four minutes from time when he latched on to Suarez’s fine through-ball to round Sirigu and slot into an empty net.