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La Liga 2017: Three things we learned from Barcelona 7-1 Osasuna

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There were plenty of positives for Barça at Camp Nou

FC Barcelona v CA Osasuna - La Liga Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

1. Mascherano can take a mean penalty

There were smiles all around Camp Nou when Ivan Rakitic handed Javier Mascherano the ball after referee Jose Munuera had pointed to the spot when Fran Merida brought down Denis Suarez.

The Argentine who had never scored in 319 Barcelona appearances showed no signs of nerves as he absolutely hammered the ball past Salvatore Sirigu in the Osasuna goal.

A landmark goal for Mascherano but also for Barcelona: the club’s 100th league goal of the season and their 500th under Luis Enrique.

Given Barcelona’s less than impressive penalty record recently, it begs the question, why hasn’t Mascherano taken a penalty before? And also, who will take the next one?

2. Andre Gomes can finish

Andre Gomes’ critics have been wondering all season just what exactly it is he does, but against Osasuna he showed that he certainly knows how to finish.

To be fair he was having a real stinker early on, misplacing passes left, right and centre and looking thoroughly uncomfortable out wide on the right wing.

However, that all changed on the half hour mark when he thundered home first time from a fine cross by Ivan Rakitic for just his second goal in 42 Barcelona appearances.

His second followed after the break and was another decent effort after the ball had broken free in the area after Gerard Pique had hit the post.

The goals will surely bring some much-needed confidence to Gomes who has endured a difficult first season at Camp Nou but may just be starting to show he does have a future at the club after all.

3. Squad players finally step up

The strength, or relative lack of it, in Barcelona’s squad has been a talking point all season but for once there were plenty of positives at Camp Nou.

Luis Enrique made five changes for the game, notably leaving out Jordi Alba, Luis Suarez and Andres Iniesta while Neymar was serving the last of his three-game ban.

He was rewarded with two goals for Paco Alcacer, another two for Andre Gomes while Arda Turan was back in action after a lay-off and Carlos Alena got 30 minutes of first-team football.

Yes, it was only Osasuna, La Liga’s bottom side who have now conceded 82 goals in 34 games, but unlike against Malaga and Deportivo, this time Barcelona did not slip up.

Instead the goals flowed, the final three even coming after Lionel Messi had departed to a huge ovation and meaning that, just for once, there was no MSN on the pitch for Barca.