Rijkaard signs off with handsome Barcelona win

May 18th, 2008 - 1:20 pm ICT by admin  

Madrid, May 18 (DPA) Departing Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard finally bid goodbye Saturday with a handsome 5-3 romp away to a long-relegated bottom team Murcia. The relaxed win means that Barca finish third in La Liga, with 67 points from 38 games, the lowest points total in Rijkaard’s five-year reign.

Former Barca captain Josep Guardiola will take over from Rijkaard in June.

Star of the show in Murcia was Mexican teenager Giovani dos Santos, who put away his first hat-trick - and finally showed that he has the ability to transform his rich potential into goals.

It was probably the last game in a Barca shirt for several players, including Lilian Thuram and Eto’o.

The Barca players were determined to give Rijkaard a good send-off, but had to come from behind after Juan Ochoa had headed Murcia into the lead in the 17th minute.

Barca hit back with three goals within the space of 10 minutes, from Eto’o, Thierry Henry and Dos Santos.

The Mexican youngster, who turned 19 last week, completed his hat-trick at the start of the second half with two classy left-foot chips.

Barca relaxed towards the end, as so often this season on the road. Ivan Alonso scored Murcia’s second from the penalty spot, after a foul by Carles Puyol, and Abel Gomez completed the scoring with an exquisite free-kick.

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