Full Time: Las Palmas 1-4 Barcelona
Barcelona continued to set the pace in the La Liga title race with a thumping 4-1 win over Las Palmas at the Gran Canaria on Sunday evening.
Despite not getting into their stride, it was Barca who took the lead in the 25th minute through Neymar’s close-range finish. And two minutes later, Luis Suarez made it two with a great finish over the onrushing goalkeeper.
The home side managed to pull one back just after the hour mark through defender Pedro Bigas’ sliding effort, but that man, Neymar was at hand again, to restore Barcelona’s two-goal cushion not long after. The Brazilian then went on to complete his hat-trick in the 71st minute to bag the three points.
The result meant Barcelona continued their stay at the top of the table, but are level on points with Real Madrid who won their game on the day and still have a game in hand. Here is how the Barca players fared on the evening:
Barcelona Player Ratings
Marc-Andre ter Stegen – 7/10
Was called into action several times and was up for the occasion, making smart stops. No chance for the goal.
Lucas Digne – 4/10
Playing at an unnatural right-back spot. Booked very early in the game. Lucky not to be sent off after his foul on Jese in the second period. Taken off soon after.
Marlon Santos – 7/10
An unexpected league debut for the Brazilian as Javier Mascherano pulled up in training. Impressively mature in his first game, did not put a foot wrong.
Samuel Umtiti – 7/10
Has come a long way over the course of the season. A true leader at the back for Barcelona on the night. Very good when on the ball, always alert to the threat posed by Las Palmas.
Jordi Alba – 6/10
Left quite a lot of open spaces down the left-flank behind him, which the home team made full use of. Did set Neymar up for his third of the night.
Sergio Busquets – 8/10
Back to his best. Recycled the ball well, shielded a young defence. His moment of brilliance though came in the lead up to the opener, when he found Andres Iniesta with a beautiful ball which started the move.
Ivan Rakitic – 7/10
Started off a little slow, but grew into the game. Hassled the opponents all along and produced a fine cross for Barca’s third goal.
Andres Iniesta – 7/10
Brilliant through ball to find Suarez in the lead up to the opener. Controlled things well for the Catalans. Not at his best, but displayed that he has still got it.
Lionel Messi – 6/10
The Argentine had a fairly quiet game considering the incredibly huge standards he sets for himself. Still, was good on the ball, sharp movement.
Luis Suarez – 8/10
Teed up Neymar unselfishly for the first goal before getting one of his own with a lovely lobbed effort. A constant menace for the Las Palmas defence.
Neymar – 9/10
Excellent. Opened the scoring with an easy tap in, set Suarez through with a peach of a ball over the defence. Eased the nerves with a header for the third before completing his hat-trick with a prodded effort.
Andre Gomes – 5/10
Came on for Digne in the 58th minute. Sluggish and uncomfortable at right-back.
Paco Alcacer – NA
On for Suarez in the 79th minute.
Denis Suarez – NA
Replaced Rakitic for the final ten minutes.