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Alcacer, Arda, Gomes, Vidal - Barcelona's second string step up to help Messi & Suarez

7:28 PM WAT 14/01/2017
Andre Gomes Lionel Messi Barcelona Las Palmas La Liga
The Catalans thrashed Las Palmas 5-0 and Luis Enrique will have been particularly encouraged by the performance of his fringe players on Saturday

COMMENT

Superb stuff from Barcelona. The Spanish champions dominated their match against Las Palmas from start to finish and came out on top comfortably in a one-sided encounter. And best of all was how several of their second string stepped up on Saturday.

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Barca have sometimes struggled this term when using their fringe players. But as Luis Enrique rotated ahead of a busy period in which Barca will face Real Sociedad twice in the next 12 days, as well as a trip to Eibar in La Liga next weekend, Andre Gomes, Arda Turan, Rafinha, Paco Alcacer and even Aleix Vidal all contributed to an emphatic victory.

This fixture last season saw Lionel Messi injured, the Argentine attacker limping off after just 10 minutes to spend two months on the sidelines with knee ligament damage. After that blow, Luis Suarez scored both of Barca's goals in a 2-1 win.

Messi was just fine on Saturday, though, and Suarez opened the scoring this time as well, smashing home a clinical finish after an excellent cut-back from Gomes, who had one of his better matches in a Barca shirt.

Rafinha was also an energetic presence in midfield for Luis Enrique's side and Barca should have been a few goals up by half-time. Early in the second period, however, Messi made it 2-0 and then Suarez scored again not long afterwards.