After a recent poor run of form and results, this will be a tough challenge for Las Palmas and I think they will do well to keep the score line under 5!!
The home side starts brightly and win the first corner in the opening mins. Barça respond with some good work from Messi and they too win a corner.
In the 6th minute, some good play by Viera, puts Jese clear in on goal. He gets brought down from behind right on the edge of the penalty area. Lucas Digne only receives a yellow where he deserved a straight red due to denying a goal scoring chance. The crowd go crazy at the referee but he doesn’t change his mind. Lemos takes the freekick but it is easily saved.
More good play from the home side, Roque Mesa plays in Jese again but this time he over hits his cross.
Las Palmas lose control in the centre circle, Iniesta plays a lovely ball through to the former Liverpool man, Luis Suarez, who slides it to the unmarked Neymar on the far post to make it 0-1 Barça.
Just 2 mins later, and this time Neymar plays Suarez through and his right foot shot finds the bottom corner. 0-2 Barça.
Las Palmas create a few ½ chances but Barça look very dangerous on the break.
Half Time – Las Palmas 0 Barcalona 2
The Saint at Half time – A lively start from the home side and Barça were very lucky not to go down to 10 men.
Big Club Syndrome may well be at play, same as the UK, where the big clubs always get the ref on their side & the big decisions go their way.
Barça look so dangerous on the break and the speed they go from defence to attack is frightening, but to any true football fan, it’s a joy to watch. The home side is putting in a much improved performance compared to recent weeks.
LP start lively again and win a free kick, in a good position, but Mono see’s his shot go just wide.
Then its Messi’s turn to see his shot get deflected wide when all thought he might score.
Las Palmas are given hope when defender Pedro Bigas sweeps in Kevin-Prince Boateng’s low cross. An excellent move and just shows, when LP play with a quick tempo, they can be a danger to any side. Las Palmas make it 1-2
Another quick move from the home team see’s Jese shoot just wide. The home fans are really getting behind the team now.
Then 4 mins later Neymar squeezes in Jordi Alba’s pass for his first hat-trick in an away game for the Catalan club. 1-4 Barça.
They have really stepped up another gear after LP scored.
The home side still keeps going to the end but just can’t produce that 2nd goal, they so clearly deserve.
Full Time – Las Palmas 1 Barcalona 4
Barça are level on points with Real Madrid, who thrashed Sevilla 4-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu, but although they have the superior head-to-head record they have played one game more. Madrid will win their first La Liga title since 2012 if they win both of their remaining games.
The Verdict of The Saint – Well what a strange season this has been. After a great start and being top of the table 3 games in, things started to go wrong. The home form was consistent but with only 1 away win, they will finish the season in a lowly 14/15th position.
A real highlight was the 2 draws with Real Madrid but in the away game, we let slip a 3-1 lead against 10 men!!
Then the announcement of coach Quique Setien’s departure at the end of the season seemed to be the turning point in a disappointing last few months. The players seemed to lose their way and with Viera out injured, they struggled to score goals, the defence seeming to leak in goals for fun!
Many blame the greedy owner pricing out the average fan, it was a real shame to see so many empty seats when the stadium should have been full and could have been had the ticket price been reasonable.
Tourists could pick up a ticket for 140€ but this was far too much for the average local fan. The club needs to start looking after the local fans and get that stadium full for more of next season.
Let’s hope we can bring in a good manager, and a few new signings are needed, if not it could be a long season if they cannot improve their away form. PIO PIO!
The Saint Returns next season!