Barcelona came from behind to beat struggling Rayo Vallecano 3-1 at the Camp Nou on Saturday thanks to goals from Gerard Pique, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.
Ernesto Valverde went with a pretty strong line-up for the visit of Rayo despite the game coming just four days before their Champions League second leg against Lyon.
Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets, Messi and Suarez all started, with Philippe Coutinho taking Ousmane Dembele’s place in the starting XI.
Barcelona completely dominated the first half but didn’t create too many chances. Pique headed a chance wide, while Coutinho could only shoot tamely at Stole Dimitrievski after a neat bit of play.
Rayo made them pay with the opening goal through Raul de Tomas. The ball was played up to the striker, and he ran at the Barcelona defence and curled a low finish past Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Barcelona did manage to level before the break through Pique. Messi sent in a free-kick from the right for an unmarked Pique to head home six minutes before half-time.
Ernesto Valverde sent on Dembele for Arthur at the break, and Barcelona took little time to go ahead from the penalty spot.
Nelson Semedo was brought down by Jordi Amat in the penalty area, and Messi stroked home the spot-kick to give Barca the lead.
The rest of the second half was pretty uneventful until Suarez made the game safe late on.
Substitute Ivan Rakitic teed up the striker to sweep the ball home from close range and secure all three points.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; Vidal, Busquets (Malcom), Arthur (Dembele); Messi, Suarez, Coutinho (Rakitic).
Goals: Pique (39’), Messi (51’), Suarez (82’)
Rayo: Dimitrievski; Advíncula, Velázquez, Amat (Pozo), Gálvez; Álex Moreno, Imbula, Santi Comesaña Bebé, Álvaro (Embarba); Raul De Tomás.
Goal: De Tomas (24’)