Having succumbed to a shock 4-1 defeat to Celta Vigo midweek, Barcelona were looking to bounce back at home to Las Palmas. The Cetla loss meant that Barça sat in fifth place going into the weekend while Las Palmas found themselves in twelfth.
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With a Champions League game on the horizon, Luis Enrique opted to rest a few players including Andrés Iniesta and Dani Alves but the manager would've been keen to start the game brightly and look to put the Celta defeat behind them. However, any spark they did have was quickly extinguished when just four minutes into the game, Lionel Messi picked up a knock.
Running towards goal, Messi's knee collided with Pedro Bigas in an awkward looking tackle. The Argentine immediately went to ground and looked in visual distress. He was seen to by the physio and was given a chance to run off the injury but five minutes later, Messi called time on his game. He was replaced by Munir in a substitution that changed the atmosphere inside the Camp Nou.
There was now an air of caution floating around and it seemed to affect the players as they struggled to create any real goalscoring chances during the opening stages. Sergi Roberto was putting in another impressive performance at right back and he was the brightest spark in the Barça team.
Barcelona's breakthrough did eventually come on the 25 minute mark and it was through Sergi Roberto's efforts. A clever back-heel from Munir found a charging Roberto on the right wing who, unlike his counterpart Dani Alves, floated in an accurate cross into the centre of the box. Luis Suárez was on hand to rise well and head the ball into the net to give Barça the opening goal in the game.
The crowd was audibly lifted by the goal and the team began to create a few more chances. None of these turned into any real goalscoring chances and the teams headed in at halftime after a fairly average half of football.
The game restarted after the break and it wasn't long before Barca's lead was doubled. Nine minutes after the restart, Munir was again involved as he drilled a cross from the right wing. Busquets was the man in the middle but with a great awareness he realised Suárez was behind him and he dummied the ball which allowed it to roll into the path of the Uruguayan. The Barça number nine gleefully took up the chance and buried the ball into the back of the net. Suárez had increased his tally and the team's tally to two.
With the game rolling on, an eye drifted towards social media as various news outlets reported on the progress of Lionel Messi's injury. Videos showed the Argentine leaving hospital and it became more and more clear that the biggest story of the game had arrived in the first ten minutes.
But back at the Camp Nou, Neymar was sniffing out a chance. The Brazilian had been quiet all game but just after the hour mark he had his first real goal chance. A great through ball allowed him to spring the offside trap and get away. He arrived at the Las Palmas goal but his shot was straight at the keeper.
The freshly shaven Neymar was enduring a frustrating game which was only increased in the 67th minute. Suárez was tangling with Alcaraz and the defender palmed the ball away. The referee spotted in and pointed towards the spot and with Messi away, Neymar stepped up. After a stuttered run up, Neymar skied the ball over the bar in an effort that made you wonder why Suárez didn't take it having been on a hat-trick.
The pursuit for that hat-trick continued throughout the game and a personal duel between Suárez and Varas Herrera brewed as the Las Palmas keeper was determined to deny Suárez the match ball. With fifteen minutes left on the clock, Roberto found Rakitić on the edge of the area. A step-over later and the Croatian found Suárez who blasted the ball towards goal. Varas got a hand to it and Suárez put his hands to his head thinking he had got his third.
With ten minutes on the clock, Enrique substituted the substitute as Sandro replaced Munir and the game looked to be finishing at 2-0. But, a mistake from Javier Mascherano allowed Las Palmas a lifeline. Jonathan Viera stole the ball off the Argentine and his shot kicked Gerard Pique's ankle. The deflection left ter Stegen standing and Barça were in for a nervy finish.
The final whistle blew with the score at 2-1 but it was a more frustrating than pleasing afternoon for Enrique as he waits to see the extent of Messi's injury.
|Roll Call Info|
|Commenter list||A. J. Khan, Abhishek-Culé, AngusLB, Anirudh_Kul, AraibKarim, Arnau22S, Barca4lif, Benceex, Charlie-xto, Chatchai Chotiput, Delano Heerkens, DerkSensei, GreyGhostIniesta, Haliaetos, Jerome Mizzi, LaSenyera, NamesTroyResideInTheDMV, Navjot Kasukurthy, Navz, PG9, Piquénbauer, Piyush_, Rajesh1101s, Richzorz, Saurabh Gautam, Som-i-Serem, Swn.Culé, The Art of Boxing, ade fox, ap cule, avyator, barca96, barcasey, craig00000, el_uruguayo, feeya7, godnkls, govandamin, henderick.mitchell, ledhe, messism, milesbarca, semperty, syredeathtrooper, turtletrader|
|25||A. J. Khan||5|
|35||The Art of Boxing||2|