SPANISH PRIMERA DIVISIÓN

Nueva Condomina

Referee: Rafael Ramírez Domínguez | Attendance: 25000

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Murcia

  • Juan Ochoa 16'
  • Iván Alonso 81' PEN
  • Abel 85'

3 - 5

FT

Barcelona

  • Samuel Eto'o 23'
  • Thierry Henry 26'
  • Giovani Dos Santos 33'
  • Giovani Dos Santos 52'
  • Giovani Dos Santos 66'

Murcia 3-5 Barcelona: Dos Santos hits treble

Barcelona showed their best and worst traits as they beat relegated Murcia 5-3 to confirm third place in Frank Rijkaard's last game in charge on Saturday night.

Giovani Dos Santos bagged a hat-trick after goals from Samuel Eto'o and Thierry Henry had put the visitors in front.

Murcia had taken a surprise lead before that through Juan Cruz Ochoa early on, but the visitors soon turned on the style in Rijkaard's last game as coach of Barcelona.

But after hitting five goals without reply, the Catalans relaxed once more and allowed the home side to strike back twice in the last ten minutes through Ivan Alonso's penalty and Abel Gomez's free-kick.

Slack marking almost gifted Murcia an opening goal after just eight minutes but the unmarked Alonso's effort rebounded off the crossbar, much to the relief of Barcelona's stagnant defenders.

At the other end, Carles Puyol flicked a corner just over the bar as Barcelona looked to strike first.

Lilian Thuram was perhaps thinking of his holidays when he left Ochoa completely unmarked to head a corner past Jose Manuel Pinto after 16 minutes following Quique De Lucas' corner.

But the goal appeared to spark the Catalans into life and they were level six minutes later.

Henry played a great one-two with Lionel Messi and crossed for Eto'o, who hooked the ball home from close range.

The Cameroon striker, almost certainly playing his last game for Barcelona, barely celebrated.

Three minutes later, Henry beat the offside trap when he latched onto Xavi's deep pass, headed the ball over stranded Murcia keeper Alberto Garcia and then tapped the ball into an empty net.

Despite receiving the brunt of the criticism for Barcelona's poor season, it was the Frenchman's 19th goal in all competitions since joining last summer.

After that, though, it was all about Giovani.

Not a prolific goalscorer until now for Barcelona, the Mexican bagged an excellent hat-trick either side of half-time.

The first was easy.

Eidur Gudjohnsen released Eto'o and the African unselfishly squared for Giovanni, who slotted home from close range with Alberto already beaten.

The second, six minutes after half-time, was something special.

The Mexican played a one-two with Messi on the edge of the area and then beat Alberto with an audacious lob to put his side three ahead.

And the youngster's third was just as good.

This time, Messi received the ball from Henry and laid off for Giovani, who struck a venomous drive just inside the post from the edge of the area.

Youth team players Fali and Rueda later came on to make their debuts, and Bojan Krkic was also brought on in the closing stages.

But Barcelona appeared to relax again and Alonso pulled a goal back from the spot in the 81st minute after Puyol had held back Alvaro Mejia.

And Murcia added a third after 83 minutes when Abel cracked a free-kick past Pinto.

Rijkaard waved goodbye at the end as Barcelona confirmed third place in his fifth and final season at the club.

But with Messi, Giovani and Bojan all on form, the Dutchman's legacy of youthful talent looks to be healthy for incoming coach Pep Guardiola.

Scoring Summary

  • Murcia
  • Barcelona
Juan Ochoa (16')
Iván Alonso (pen 81')
Abel (85')

Match Stats

  • Murcia
  • Barcelona
21(9) Shots (on goal) 16(9)
14 Fouls 12
10 Corner kicks 6
1 Offsides 3
35% Time of Possession 65%
2 Yellow Cards 1
0 Red Cards 0
4 Saves 6

Teams

  • Murcia
  • Barcelona
Substitutes
Substitutions
Yellow Cards
Fali (84')