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Barcelona defeat Las Palmas in the game that should have never been played

Barcelona extended their perfect start to La Liga with a deserved 3-0 victory over Las Palmas on Sunday. While the match will not go down in history for any significant sporting reasons, the outrageous fact that it was played behind closed doors during the most surreal day in Catalunya's recent history certainly will -- and Cules should not be proud of it.

Totally oblivious to the ongoing uncertainty and generalised uproar making the headlines outside the stadium, Barcelona chairman Josep Maria Bartomeu agreed to play the match and later on explained that his decision was based on 'the club's inability to postpone it'.

As usual, Bartomeu's explanations were simply not good enough and can only be interpreted as missed historical chance to show solidarity with the hardships millions of Catalans suffered when trying to vote on Sunday. Given that FC Barcelona is undoubtedly the most effective loud-speaker in Catalunya, it was disappointing to learn that the club directors refused to take the chance to make an even more decisive statement given the current situation.

The game itself was pretty poor, to be honest. Barca players struggled to find their rhythm, which is understandable given the eerie emptiness to the stadium they were playing in and the uncertainty that surrounded the game, their neighbours and even their loved ones before kickoff.

With the match tied at 0-0 after 45 minutes, Ernesto Valverde's decision to bring both Andres Iniesta and Ivan Rakitic at halftime added much more dynamism, order and purpose to Barca's attack -- with the Blaugranas' superiority eventually resulting in their deserved 3-0 victory. The rest, as they say, is now history.

Match Stats:



Here are Francesc Tomas' Player Ratings:

Ter Stegen - 6

Sergi Roberto - 6
Mascherano - 7
Pique - 6
Jordi Alba - 6

Busquets - 7
Paulinho - 6
Denis Suarez - 7

Aleix Vidal - 5
Luis Suarez - 6
Messi - 7

Subs:
Rakitic - 7
Iniesta - 7
Gomes - n/a

In Episode 37 of The Barcelona Podcast, we analysed the difficulties that Luis Suarez is currently facing in order to return to his best form. Listen in full here:





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