Barcelona see off Las Palmas at empty Camp Nou
Barcelona 3 - 0 Las Palmas

Barcelona see off Las Palmas at empty Camp Nou

01/10/2017

Lionel Messi struck twice as Barcelona beat Las Palmas 3-0 at a deserted Camp Nou in a match overshadowed by politics.

The Liga clash was played behind closed doors after Barca's request for it to be postponed amid unrest during the Catalonia independence referendum was rejected.

Struggling Las Palmas, with Pako Ayestaran in charge for the first time, responded well to the unusual situation and hit the post in the first half, but leaders Barca eventually took control.

Sergio Busquets broke the deadlock after the interval and Messi secured Barca's seventh win from seven games with two typically well-taken finishes.

Confusion had reigned in the hours before the game, which it had seemed would be called off owing to the chaos around Catalonia.

But any postponement would have been at Barca's request, and the authorities refused. Facing possible sanctions including forfeiture of the points, Barca announced just 20 minutes before the scheduled kick-off that they would play behind closed doors.

Las Palmas started the better, and Borja Valero flashed a shot across goal, but Barca responded with Sergi Roberto shooting at Leandro Chichizola.

Messi tested Chichizola with a free kick from the edge of the area and the keeper reacted quickly to deal with Denis Suarez' follow-up attempt.

But the visitors remained unflustered and enjoyed greater possession as the first half went on.

Oussama Tannane fired a long-range effort at Marc-Andre ter Stegen before turning provider for Jonathan Calleri to drill a low shot against the woodwork.

It was not until after the break that Barca began to play with greater intensity.

Messi forced Chichizola to deal with another free kick before Ivan Rakitic had an effort tipped over.

The breakthrough came four minutes after the restart when Busquets glanced home a Messi corner at the near post.

Tannane broke and fired wide after cutting inside as Las Palmas looked for a quick equalizer, but Barca turned up the pressure again.

Messi had another attempt beaten away by Chichizola and then planted a firm header wide after good work from Luis Suarez, who was also booked for diving after being played through on goal.

Another good chance fell to Messi after a corner but he dragged his shot wide.

In the 70th minute, he made amends as Denis Suarez cut inside and played a fine reverse pass into the box, where Messi took the ball round Chichizola to tap in his 13th goal of the season.

There was a brief interruption as a protester got onto the pitch but the situation was quickly dealt with by security and Messi scored his second goal moments later.

This time, he raced onto Luis Suarez' pass and fired it past Chichizola before the keeper had a chance to react.

That ended the game as a contest and Barca eased to three more points as they won for the seventh time in a row.

Related news

Suarez, Paulinho both score twice as Barcelona thrash Depor

Suarez, Paulinho both score twice as Barcelona thrash Depor

Luis Suarez and Paulinho each scored twice as Barcelona tuned up for next week's Clasico with a handsome 4-0 win over Deportivo La Coruna.

Fernando Torres' goal carries Atletico Madrid into second place

Fernando Torres' goal carries Atletico Madrid into second place

Fernando Torres' first goal in La Liga this season gave Atletico Madrid a hard-fought 1-0 win over Alaves on Saturday and lifted the club into second place behind Barcelona.

Sevilla held to disappointing draw by Levante in Berizzo's return

Sevilla held to disappointing draw by Levante in Berizzo's return

Eduardo Berizzo's return to the Sevilla dugout delivered some defensive steel but no cutting edge up front as Levante ground out a goalless draw at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

Suarez, Messi goals restore Barcelona's cushion atop La Liga

Suarez, Messi goals restore Barcelona's cushion atop La Liga

Barcelona seized on the second-half dismissal of Dani Raba to beat Villarreal 2-0 and restore their five-point lead at the top of La Liga on Sunday night.

Saul Niguez nets winner as Atletico Madrid edge Real Betis

Saul Niguez nets winner as Atletico Madrid edge Real Betis

Saul Niguez scored the only goal as Atletico Madrid beat Real Betis 1-0 to keep Diego Simeone's team in the chase for the La Liga title.

Cristiano Ronaldo scores twice as Real Madrid thrash Sevilla

Cristiano Ronaldo scores twice as Real Madrid thrash Sevilla

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrated his fifth Ballon d'Or award with a brace as Real Madrid swept past Sevilla 5-0 following a blistering first-half display at the Bernabeu.

Valencia suffer shock defeat against 10-man Getafe

Valencia suffer shock defeat against 10-man Getafe

Markel Bergara fired 10-man Getafe to a shock victory over second-placed Valencia to leave Barcelona five points clear at the top of the La Liga table.

Sergio Ramos sees red again as Real Madrid held to draw

Sergio Ramos sees red again as Real Madrid held to draw

Sergio Ramos was sent off for a record 19th time in La Liga as Real Madrid drew 0-0 Athletic Bilbao and failed to take advantage of Barcelona's earlier slip.

Atletico Madrid battle back to beat Real Sociedad

Atletico Madrid battle back to beat Real Sociedad

Atletico Madrid cut the gap on La Liga leaders Barcelona to six points with a 2-1 comeback win against Real Sociedad.

RELATED NEWS

Suarez, Paulinho both score twice as Barcelona thrash Depor
Barcelona 4 - 0 Deportivo La Coruna

Suarez, Paulinho both score twice as Barcelona thrash Depor

Luis Suarez and Paulinho each scored twice as Barcelona tuned up for next week's Clasico with a handsome 4-0 win over Deportivo La Coruna.

Fernando Torres' goal carries Atletico Madrid into second place
Atletico Madrid 1 - 0 Alaves

Fernando Torres' goal carries Atletico Madrid into second place

Fernando Torres' first goal in La Liga this season gave Atletico Madrid a hard-fought 1-0 win over Alaves on Saturday and lifted the club into second place behind Barcelona.

Sevilla held to disappointing draw by Levante in Berizzo's return
Sevilla 0 - 0 Levante

Sevilla held to disappointing draw by Levante in Berizzo's return

Eduardo Berizzo's return to the Sevilla dugout delivered some defensive steel but no cutting edge up front as Levante ground out a goalless draw at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

Suarez, Messi goals restore Barcelona's cushion atop La Liga
Villarreal 0 - 2 Barcelona

Suarez, Messi goals restore Barcelona's cushion atop La Liga

Barcelona seized on the second-half dismissal of Dani Raba to beat Villarreal 2-0 and restore their five-point lead at the top of La Liga on Sunday night.

Saul Niguez nets winner as Atletico Madrid edge Real Betis
Real Betis 0 - 1 Atletico Madrid

Saul Niguez nets winner as Atletico Madrid edge Real Betis

Saul Niguez scored the only goal as Atletico Madrid beat Real Betis 1-0 to keep Diego Simeone's team in the chase for the La Liga title.

Cristiano Ronaldo scores twice as Real Madrid thrash Sevilla
Real Madrid 5 - 0 Sevilla

Cristiano Ronaldo scores twice as Real Madrid thrash Sevilla

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrated his fifth Ballon d'Or award with a brace as Real Madrid swept past Sevilla 5-0 following a blistering first-half display at the Bernabeu.

Valencia suffer shock defeat against 10-man Getafe
Getafe 1 - 0 Valencia

Valencia suffer shock defeat against 10-man Getafe

Markel Bergara fired 10-man Getafe to a shock victory over second-placed Valencia to leave Barcelona five points clear at the top of the La Liga table.

Sergio Ramos sees red again as Real Madrid held to draw
Athletic Bilbao 0 - 0 Real Madrid

Sergio Ramos sees red again as Real Madrid held to draw

Sergio Ramos was sent off for a record 19th time in La Liga as Real Madrid drew 0-0 Athletic Bilbao and failed to take advantage of Barcelona's earlier slip.

Atletico Madrid battle back to beat Real Sociedad
Atletico Madrid 2 - 1 Real Sociedad

Atletico Madrid battle back to beat Real Sociedad

Atletico Madrid cut the gap on La Liga leaders Barcelona to six points with a 2-1 comeback win against Real Sociedad.