Luis Suarez’s double helped Barcelona to a 2-1 win over Las Palmas in Saturday’s La Liga encounter at Camp Nou as Lionel Messi limped off with a knee injury.
The home side were dealt an early blow when Messi was forced to leave the pitch in the 10th minute, however Suarez gave them reasons to celebrate midway thought the half when he headed home a cross from Sergi Roberto.
Las Palmas looked dangerous a number of times via former Barcelona B striker Sergio Araujo, but the Argentine was unfortunate not to add his name to the scoresheet.
And Suarez made it two after the break following some fine work from Munir, before Neymar blasted a penalty over the crossbar.
Jonathan Viera’s deflected effort put Barca under late pressure, but they held firm to provide a good response to Wednesday’s 4-1 hammering at Celta Vigo.
Barcelona looked like opening the scoring after just four minutes of play when Messi’s sublime first touch sent him clear, but a last-ditch tackle from Pedro Bigas was just enough to keep the Argentine’s attempt out.<
There was more bad news for the Catalans shortly after as Messi was forced to leave the pitch with an injury to his left knee following Bigas’ tackle.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen was called into action in the 20th minute after Araujo gained a yard on Gerard Pique before trying his luck from inside the area, but the Barca goalkeeper did well to save at his near post.
The hosts took the lead in the 25th minute after a superb attack down the right allowed Roberto swing in a dangerous cross for Suarez and the Uruguay international beat his marker to the ball, heading home to make it 1-0.
Barcelona should have doubled their lead shortly after when Suarez and Neymar charged toward the visitors’ goal, but the former Liverpool man’s pass toward the Brazilian lacked accuracy and Bigas got back in time to clear the danger.
Las Palmas looked dangerous on the counterattack, though, and once more threatened 10 minutes before the break. Viera unleashed a stunning long-range striker after cutting inside from the left, only for Ter Stegen to tip the ball over the crossbar.
Luis Enrique’s men continued to charge forward in search for a second goal after the break and were rewarded for their positive approach in the 54th minute. Munir sent in a fine low cross from the right toward Sergio Busquets, who dummied it to allow Suarez to slam into the top corner.
Araujo again looked dangerous for the away side just minutes later, but his powerful left-footed strike was palmed away by Ter Stegen.
Neymar seemed desperate to add his name to the score sheet, but the Brazilian was denied by Javi Varas after escaping the offside trap before blazing over from the spot after Antolin Alcaraz handled the ball inside his own area.
Sloppy play from Javier Mascherano in the closing stages of the encounter then allowed Nabil El Zhar to set up Viera and the 25-year-old saw his deflected shot beat Ter Stegen, but it was too little too late.