On a very strange Sunday in the capital of Catalonia, Barcelona avoided a forfeit and reached seven consecutive wins to start the La Liga season thanks to a 3-0 victory over Las Palmas in front of an empty Camp Nou. After a horrible performance in the first half Barça were dominant in the second, and Sergio Busquets and Lionel Messi (2) scored the goals in what ended up being a routine victory for the league leaders.
Barça played very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very badly in the first half. That’s all.
Ernesto Valverde brought Ivan Rakitic and Andrés Iniesta on from the bench at halftime looking to improve things, and the difference was substantial. Everything that wasn’t working in the first half started to work, with Barça having more pace and precision to their passing and taking more shots at goal to trouble the Las Palmas defense.
Just three minutes into the period, Lionel Messi took a perfect corner into the near post that Sergio Busquets headed home to give Barça the lead. The Blaugrana gained confidence with the goal and began to control the tempo of the match, and Messi started to get more involved in the play in midfield, which in turn created many good chances to increase the lead.
The second goal eventually came in the 70th minute when Denis Suarez played a sensational through ball to an onside Messi, who easily rounded the keeper and finished to double Barça’s advantage. Messi scored another thanks to an amazing combination with Rakitic and Luis Suárez, and the game was over with a three-goal lead for the Catalan giants.
Las Palmas tried to get a consolation goal in the final few minutes, but Barça held on to another clean sheet and confirmed the win. The first half was pure garbage, but the second was very good and gave us some encouragement for the games ahead. This could have been another worrying win, but the last 45 minutes showed that this team can be very good.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Piqué, Mascherano, Alba; Vidal (Iniesta (Gomes)), Paulinho (Rakitic), Busquets, Denis; Messi, Suárez
Goals: Busquets (49’), Messi (70’, 77’)
Las Palmas: Chichizola; Míchel, Lemos, Navarro, Herrera; Aquilani, Hernán (Vicente); Tana (Toledo), Viera, Tannane; Calleri