With Barcelona in the midst of a potentially historic collapse, Luis Suarez came to the rescue, and his teammates followed suit.
Suarez scored twice early in Barcelona's La Liga match at Deportivo de La Coruña and added two more in the second half of an 8-0 laugher, injecting life into a team in desperate need of it after it was eliminated from the Champions League and had its once-unassailable league lead go up in smoke.
Suarez opened the scoring in the 11th minute with a difficult volley on the doorstep, redirecting Ivan Rakitic's corner kick:
He took a perfect touch pass from Messi for his second goal in the 24th minute, giving Barcelona a 2-0 lead and marking the first time the club had scored multiple goals in four games:
Suarez just missed his hat trick moments later, flubbing an opportunity at the goalmouth:
But he made up for it early in the second half. First, he assisted on Rakitic's goal that gave Barcelona a 3-0 edge:
Suarez then made it 4-0 with this effort, off another feed from Messi:
He netted his fourth to make it 5-0:
After scoring his 500th career goal in a loss over the weekend, Messi scored No. 501 to make it 6-0:
Marc Bartra then made it 7-0 to the visitors in the 79th minute:
And Neymar made it a crazy eight, off an assist from Suarez, who ended the day with four goals and three assists:
The four goals give Suarez 30 on the league season, just one behind Pichichi leader Cristiano Ronaldo.
Barcelona had entered the day ahead of Atletico Madrid just on tiebreaker in La Liga's title race. Real Madrid loomed a point behind both, and all three emerge from the day in the same position. Atletico Madrid beat Athletic Bilbao 1-0 on a goal from Fernando Torres, while Real Madrid coasted by Villarreal 3-0 on goals from Karim Benzema, Lucas Vazquez and Luca Modric.