Sergio Busquets broke the deadlock after which Lionel Messi scored a brace to seal a 3-0 victory against Las Palmas at Camp Nou.
Barcelona’s 3-0 victory was met with a deadly silence as the Catalan club played Las Palmas behind closed doors at Camp Nou. There were a lot of concerns regarding crowd and player safety due to the ongoing unrest across Catalonia, as a result of which the match was expected to be cancelled.
The club announced shortly before kickoff though, that the match would take place but with no fans in attendance. However, that did not stop Barcelona from maintaining their winning streak. They made a slow start and were goalless after the first-halfu. But, a strike from Busquets after half-time saw them take the lead.
Las Palmas showed were defensively strong but Valverde’s introduction of Ivan Rakitic and Andres Iniesta at half-time allowed Barcelona to take full control of the game. Messi added two more goals in quick succession to ensure a well deserved victory as Barcelona picked up three crucial points. The Hard Tackle runs the rule over the hosts’ performance.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen – 6.5/10
Yet again, the goalkeeper was barely troubled by Barcelona’s opponents barring a couple of simple saves. The defenders did a good job to keep Las Palmas’ strikers at bay, meaning Ter Stegen had very little to do, and the German recorded a clean sheet.
Sergi Roberto – 7/10
In the first half, Las Palmas looked threatening going forward and that’s when Roberto did some good defensive work to keep them away. He also created a good chance early in the game but his effort was denied by Leandro Chichizola. Later, Roberto also sent an excellent cross Paulinho’s way but nothing came off it.
Gerard Pique – 7.5/10
The centre-back was booked for a rather unnecessary challenge on Calleri but was otherwise extremely solid. In fact, Pique also got forward a lot, and it almost seemed like he was determined to get his name on the score-sheet. All in all, a strong performance from the defender after a series of unconvincing displays.
Javier Mascherano – 5/10
Mascherano was given a start ahead of Samuel Umtiti. It was only his fourth start of the season in the league but the player still seemed tired. His passes were not accurate enough and his performance was imprecise, to say the least. Moreover, he lost the ball a couple of times in the first half.
Jordi Alba – 7.5/10
Alba surged up and down the left wing and he looked solid. His delivery could do with some work, although the full-back provided a lot of support in the final third. He was rather quiet in the first half, but then posed a lot of troubles to Michel Macedo to restrict him from going forward.
Aleix Vidal – 4.5/10
Vidal was wasteful and gave the ball away several times, much to the ire of Valverde and his teammates. Besides his attempt at trying to win a penalty, he had little to almost no influence on the game. The Spaniard had no control in the midfield area, following which Valverde took him off at half-time.
Sergio Busquets – 7.5/10
Busquets scored a goal to break the deadlock after half-time as he outplayed Las Palmas defender Borja Herrera and got in front of Chichizola to net the opening goal. This marks his first league goal over the last three and a half seasons. He also made quite an impact in the midfield for Barcelona, controlling the tempo of the game superbly.
Paulinho – 5/10
It was not a good day at the office for the Brazilian. Paulinho did nothing in the first half. He even missed a clear headed chance and picked up a booking for a foul on Chichizola. He lacked creativity while his performance on the whole seemed lethargic. He was eventually withdrawn to make room for Rakitic.
Denis Suarez – 8/10
The midfielder established a strong understanding with Messi and set up the Argentine’s first goal. He also made quite an impact in the midfield area after the break. Denis Suarez managed to maintain the ball in tight spaces and put up an overall strong performance.
Lionel Messi – 7.5/10
Not his best day on field but he was still influential for Barcelona. Besides the brace, Messi also provided the cross for Busquets’s goal. He did seem a bit wasteful but then his goals did make up for that minor issue.
Luis Suarez – 5.5/10
Suarez’s slump in form continues as he put up another performance which made little impact. He could have easily added the second goal but the Uruguayan went down instead and was rightfully booked. In fact, this seems like one of his worst patches of form ever, and he is not showing any signs of improvement so far.
Andres Iniesta – 7/10
Established control in an otherwise chaotic midfield.
Ivan Rakitic – 7/10
Despite being bashed for his previous performances, Rakitic played a better game than Paulinho.
Andre Gomes – N/A
Made a very late appearance after Iniesta’s injury.