By 90Min
October 02, 2017

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde stated his side went into their 3-0 La Liga victory over Las Palmas on Sunday afternoon with the desire to win for the people of Catalonia, however admitted it was tough for his players to perform at their best, considering the day's goings-on. 

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The comfortable win, in the end, came courtesy of a trio of second-half goals, with Sergio Busquets opening the scoring four minutes after half-time with a well-placed header, and Lionel Messi secured a typically brilliant brace as the game ticked on. 

However, the tie will always be remembered as the three-point haulage that was played within an empty Camp Nou, with officials denying fans entry due to the political unrest that had swept the city during the Catalonian independence referendum. 

It was decided just 20 minutes prior to kick-off that the game would go ahead behind closed doors, after Barca had attempted to rearrange the fixture for a less influential day in the region.

However, La Liga chiefs declared that if Barcelona were to postpone the clash they would be automatically subjected to a 3-0 defeat, something the Barca hierarchy were not keen to receive.

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Consequently it took Valverde's men a while to warm to their task of Las Palmas, and they even could have found themselves behind in the opening 45 minutes as Jonathan Calleri rattled the woodwork. 


However, the Spanish top flight table toppers overcame the challenge and now find themselves five points clear of second-place Sevilla, and seven off Real Madrid. 


But, it could have been so different had the host's been punished for their lacklustre showing in the first-half, and the 53-year-old manager is sure the day's happenings in the city was the reason behind his side's slow start. 

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"It was a weird and complicated situation for everyone and it wasn't possible to postpone the game", the former Spain international told Tribuna.

"That is why we played behind closed doors, because it was a consensual decision of the club.

"We were not very focused and started with little rhythm. Las Palmas have great players and our mistakes were costing us. In the second half, we were more effective in pressuring them and managed to score.

"The impact of playing at an empty Camp Nou is important. It is not normal to be in a situation like that and we had to overcome those difficulties.

"We wanted to win because we represent a lot of people and we want them to be happy. We are all aware of what happened in Catalonia."

Barca now go into the international break knowing the have a comfortable cushion at the top of La Liga, with the tricky trip to Atletico Madrid up next midway through this month. 

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