Barcelona returned to the winning ways with a narrow 2-1 victory over Las Palmas at Camp Nou, thanks to a brace from Luis Suárez. It would have been a good afternoon for the defending champions, but there was bad news with an injury to Lionel Messi that could be serious. The Blaugranes are back on track, yet far from happy.
It's tough to be good when your best player leaves the game.
It looked as though Barcelona were going to have an easy time, creating a few early chances through smart passing and inspired play, but then things fell apart. In a simple play in the box, Messi tried to kick a ball at the same time as a Las Palmas defender did, and the impact ended up causing a knee injury to the Argentine superstar. All Barça players on the pitch were obviously worried for their guy, and seeing him leave the field certainly had an effect on the rest of the game.
That was the case, because the Blaugrana couldn't do anything right for several minutes after Leo went out, looking shaky and inaccurate. But then Sergi Roberto, playing once again as a right-back, pulled off a fantastic cross that found Luis Suárez in the box, and the striker towered over the defense to head home the first goal.
It was the only highlight of an eventful first half, but for the wrong reasons. The result was favoring the team, but everything else didn't look as good.
Looking a little recovered from the scare of Messi's injury, Barça came back a better team in the second half. Sergi Roberto continued to impress with some beautiful stuff as a full-back, and Neymar was more lively after a quiet first period. Ten minutes into the final 45, Munir El-Haddadi had a good run on the right side, crossed the ball into the box, and Sergio Busquets gave up an easy goal and instead left it to Suárez, who buried home the second and decisive goal for the hosts.
The chance for a third goal came with a penalty given to the Blaugranes after a handball in the box. Without Messi to take it, Neymar stepped up to the spot, but sent the ball to the skies with a horrible miss. Barça continued to create chances, but were unable to get another goal. It seemed like the Catalans were finally set to get a clean sheet, but Mascherano gave away the ball and Viera scored Las Palmas' lone goal in the last minute.
In the end, a comfortable win despite the narrow result, but all that matters is Messi's injury.
Barcelona: Stegen; Roberto, Piqué, Bartra, Adriano (Gumbau); Mascherano, Busquets, Rakitic; Messi (Munir (Sandro)), Suárez, Neymar
Goals: Suárez (25', 54')
Las Palmas: Javi Varas; Simón, Alcaraz, Aythami, Bigas, Castellano; Roque (El Zhar), Hernán (Culio), Wakaso; Araujo (Valerón), Viera
Goal: Viera (88')