After having scraped through with a draw in their last La Liga game against Villarreal, Barcelona had to respond when they hosted Las Palmas at the Camp Nou and they certainly did. Quique Setien’s side, who have entertained many of the La Liga fans with their excellent style of play, suffered a 5-0 drubbing at the hands of a determined Barcelona side that were determined to get their campaign back on track.
The home side had most of the ball and forced Las Palmas into their own half as they peppered attack after attack on Javi Varas' goal. The away side were being forced to play a different game from the one they were used to and this seemed to take a heavy toll on them as they were unable to contain a clinical Barcelona side.
Luis Suarez continued his blistering form as his two goals took him level with Lionel Messi in the standings for the Pichichi Trophy.
Barcelona manager, Luis Enrique considered this game as the right opportunity to rest some of his players while giving chances to some of the fringe players like Andre Gomes and Aleix Vidal, who put on great displays.
Take a look at how the players fared:
Marc-Andre ter Stegen: 7/10
Ter Stegen did not really have a lot to do in goal as Las Palmas barely created anything in attack. He had only one save to make which came from Kevin-Prince Boateng's shot in the 76th minute.
Aleix Vidal: 9/10
Vidal, who was making only his second start in the league for the club this season, was one of the best players on the pitch as he got on the scoresheet to cap off a dominating performance. He was solid in defence and snuffed out any Las Palmas opportunity.
Samuel Umtiti: 7/10
Umtiti had very less defending to do, with the opposition regularly parked in their own half for most of the match. He kept things simple at the back and passed the ball around well.
Javier Mascherano: 7/10
Mascherano, who stepped up to play at the heart of the defence in Gerard Pique's absence, had a good game as he won tackles and pushed forward from the back.
Jordi Alba: 7/10
Alba, with not much defending to do, played almost like a left winger and was an extra option for his side in attack.
Andre Gomes: 8/10
Gomes, who has been criticised for not playing up to expectations, had a really good game. He provided the assist for Luis Suarez's first goal and was unlucky not to have gotten on the scoresheet. Gomes also helped out his right-back in defence as he tracked back well.
Sergio Busquets: 8/10
Busquets played brilliantly to control the midfield and cut out any threats from the Las Palmas’ attackers. As has been the case for much of the season, he was the initiator of many of Barca's attacking moves.
Rafinha Alcantara: 7.5/10
Rafinha was very much involved in this game, unlike the previous one against Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey. He got an assist to his name when he set up Suarez's second goal.
Arda Turan: 8/10
Turan was another Barca player who took the opportunity that was given and used it well as he was heavily involved in a lot of moves. The Turk scored Barcelona's fourth goal after Varas saved from Suarez.
Lionel Messi: 8.5/10
Messi scored the second goal for Barcelona as he pounced on the ball after Varas tried to palm it away. His awareness and pace were exemplary as he reached the ball before any Las Palmas player could. Although he did produce a few stray passes, the Argentine also had a moment of magic with a brilliant Cruyff turn that almost helped set up Rafinha.
Luis Suarez: 9.5/10
Suarez had yet another excellent outing for the Catalans with two brilliant goals to his name. He would have had a hat-trick if not for Varas’ brilliant saves. The Uruguayan gave the Las Palmas defenders no respite as he constantly pressed and harried them deep in their own half.
Ivan Rakitic: 6/10
Rakitic came on after the hour mark to keep things simple in the midfield and maintain his side's lead.
Paco Alcacer: 7/10
Alcacer was on the pitch for only about 22 minutes but set up Vidal for what was a brilliantly worked goal.
Jeremy Mathieu: 6/10
The Frenchman came on for the last 15 minutes and did his job of keeping the Las Palmas attack from having any clear-cut chances.
Javi Varas: 7/10
Varas was, without a doubt, Las Palmas’ best player on the pitch. He made five saves for his side all of which could have been goals, thus keeping his side from suffering further embarrassment. He probably could have done better to keep out the cross from Rafinha that Messi pounced on, though.
Michel Macedo: 5.5/10
Macedo could not have done much with the Barca attack bearing down on the Las Palmas defence. With Alba and Turan attacking his flank, Macedo was outnumbered more often than not.
David Garcia: 6/10
The Las Palmas captain had to be taken off in the 34th minute after suffering an injury. Garcia made a few tackles that thwarted the Catalans’ attacking moves.
Mauricio Lemos: 6/10
Lemos was one of the better Las Palmas defenders as he attempted to implement his side's style of play and play out from the back. The 21-year-old made some vital tackles.
Helder Lopes: 5/10
Lopes had a difficult time trying to keep Messi away from making and taking chances on Barca's right flank. He had an opportunity to shoot on goal late on in the game, one that he skied over.
Vicente Gomez: 5/10
Gomez was trying to help out his defence for most of the match but much like his teammates, he was unable to keep out the Barca attack.
Roque Mesa: 5/10
Mesa, who is usually the fulcrum of the passing game of football that Las Palmas play, had a tough time as he was forced out of his comfort zone and not allowed to play his natural game. He was booked early on in the match as well.
Nabil El Zhar: 5/10
El Zhar, who played as the right attacking midfielder, had to track back and defend against a relentless Barcelona side.
Jonathan Viera: 6/10
Viera has been Las Palmas’ favoured attacking outlet throughout the season so far. However, he was unable to display any of his creativity with his team being constantly pegged back. The attacker did display some fancy footwork and good ball control to keep possession for his side on a couple of occasions but it was to no avail in the end.
Tana had a poor game and, like the other attacking teammates of his, was unable to contribute much to his side.
Kevin-Prince Boateng: 5/10
Boateng was isolated up front for almost all of the game. He had one chance to score late in the match but hit it straight to the keeper.
Aythami Artiles: 4/10
Artiles came on for the injured David Garcia but had no solution to the Barcelona onslaught.
Mateo Garcia: 4/10
Garcia came on for the last half hour of the game but was unable to create any positive impact for his side.
Marko Livaja: 4/10
Livaja played only the last 15 minutes of the game and earned a yellow card for a reckless challenge.Published 15 Jan 2017, 09:09 IST