MX23RW : Friday, December 14 11:20:19

Result: Barcelona beat Las Palmas in empty Camp Nou

Result: Barca beat Las Palmas in empty Camp Nou
© Offside
Barcelona continue their 100% start to the 2017-18 La Liga campaign courtesy of a 3-0 win over Las Palmas in Sunday afternoon's behind-closed-doors match at Camp Nou.

Barcelona have stretched their 100% start to the 2017-18 La Liga campaign to seven matches courtesy of a 3-0 win over Las Palmas in Sunday afternoon's behind-closed-doors match at Camp Nou.

The victory has seen Ernesto Valverde's side move five points clear of second-placed Sevilla in La Liga, while the gap from the leaders to sixth-placed Real Madrid is now 10 points.

First the game was on, then it was off as Barcelona desperately attempted to postpone the fixture due to the scenes of violence in Catalonia.

The Catalan Football Federation had cancelled all games in the fourth tier, in addition to regional and amateur matches due to the violent clashes around the city amid the unofficial independence referendum vote.

Around 25 minutes before kickoff was due to take place, Barcelona, who had requested a postponement from the Spanish Football Federation, confirmed that the league fixture would take place behind closed doors, leaving thousands of supporters outside of Camp Nou.

Facing a three-point deduction from the league, Barcelona ultimately decided to take to the field, and the home side immediately took control of the possession inside an almost silent stadium.

It was Barcelona that had the game's first attempt on target in the fifth minute, but Las Palmas goalkeeper Leandro Chichizola managed to keep out Sergi Roberto's effort.

Lionel Messi was next to come close for Barcelona in the 21st minute, but the Argentine saw his curling free kick kept out by Chichizola, who was forced into action for the second time since the start of the match.

Oussama Tannane tested Barcelona stopper Marc-Andre ter Stegen with a decent strike in the 25th minute as Las Palmas grew into the contest, while Jonathan Calleri had a shot blocked by Sergio Busquets moments later after a mistake from Javier Mascherano.

Paulinho should have sent the home side ahead 15 minutes before the break after meeting a super cross from Roberto, but the Brazilian's header dropped just wide of the post.

Las Palmas then had a wonderful chance of their own when Calleri found all sorts of space inside the Barcelona box after super work from Tannane, but the number nine crashed his effort against the bottom of the post.

Ivan Rakitic and Andres Iniesta both came off the Barcelona bench at the interval as head coach Valverde made a double change in a bid to alter the flow of the match.

Chichizola had to fly across his goal to keep out another Messi free kick in the 47th minute, before the Las Palmas goalkeeper made an even better save to deny Rakitic moments later.

Barcelona made the all-important breakthrough in the 49th minute, however, when Busquets's glancing header from a Messi corner ended up in the back of the net.

Chichizola kept out attempts from Messi and Luis Suarez in the period that followed, while Tannane sent one just wide of Ter Stegen's post down the other end as Las Palmas continued to show their threat in the final third.

Messi had a golden chance to double Barcelona's lead in the 56th minute after a Luis Suarez cross found the head of the Argentine in the centre of the Las Palmas box, but his effort dropped wide of the post.

Viera had a half-chance to level the scores just past the hour after more good work from Tannane, but the Spaniard missed the home side's goal from distance during an end-to-end period of the match.

Messi finally got his goal in the 71st minute when he collected a clever pass from Denis Suarez before rounding Chichizola and finding the back of the net with a simple finish.

Messi then scored his second in the 77th minute when he gathered a pass from Luis Suarez before finding the bottom corner as Las Palmas went to pieces in a defensive area.

Tannane was Las Palmas's best player on the afternoon, and the number 10 sent another effort just wide of Ter Stegen's post late on as Barcelona kept their clean sheet intact on a controversial afternoon of football.

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Andres Iniesta of Barcelona and Spain happily poses for photographs at the FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala 2015 at the Kongresshaus on January 11, 2016
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona1594241192231
2Sevilla1584327161128
3Atletico MadridAtletico1577121101128
4Real Madrid158252319426
5AlavesAlaves157351817124
6Levante156452725222
7Real Betis156451617-122
8Getafe155641612421
9GironaGirona155641717021
10Espanyol156361720-321
11Celta Vigo155552824420
12Real Valladolid155551315-220
13Real Sociedad155461818019
14EibarEibar155461923-419
15Valencia153931212018
16Leganes154561519-417
17Villarreal153571519-414
18Athletic Bilbao152851523-814
19Rayo Vallecano152491530-1510
20Huesca1514101230-187

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