Gary Lineker Takes Sly Dig at Neymar on Twitter After Lionel Messi Hat-Trick Against Espanyol

Sunday September 10th, 2017

Gary Lineker took a subtle dig at Neymar on Twitter after his former teammate Lionel Messi scored yet another hat-trick in a Barcelona shirt.

The Argentine forward tormented Catalan rivals Espanyol in the 5-0 victory at the Nou Camp, taking his tally for the season to five in just three games.

And Lineker sarcastically observed that Messi appeared to have no concerns over the absence of Neymar in the attack.

"Messi seems to be struggling a tad without Neymar," Lineker wrote. "3 games 5 goals and a hat-trick tonight."

Barcelona were impressive in the comprehensive win, maintaining their 100% record at the start of the new season and moving four points clear of both Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, both of whom were held to draws.

And after the game, Messi's attacking partner Luis Suarez praised his teammate and appeared also to hint at Neymar's departure.

LLUIS GENE/GettyImages

“It is a privilege to play with the best in the world, he continues to show that people have a long way to catch him,” Suarez said, quoted by Sport 360.

He added: “They are three important points because they allow us to take advantage of our direct rivals slipping up, but of course, it is only the third match of the season.”

Messi's first goal looked to have been offside, but he doubled the lead ten minutes later and secured his hat-trick just after the hour mark.

Gerard Pique added a fourth in the latter stages, before Ousmane Dembele, on from the bench for his highly-anticipated debut, set up a last minute Suarez goal.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.