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Barca slay Las Palmas to close gap on Real

dpa logodpa 14/01/2017 Pete Jenson

Barcelona have beaten Las Palmas 5-0 at the Camp Nou to move within two points of Real Madrid.

Barcelona beat Las Palmas 5-0 on Saturday at the Camp Nou to move within two points of Real Madrid, having played two games more.

The hosts took the lead on 13 minutes when Aleix Vidal played Andre Gomes to the byline and he pulled the ball back for Luis Suarez to score with a first-time finish.

Lionel Messi scored the second on 52 minutes from Rafinha's cross and earned the record of having scored against every team in the Spanish first division.

Suarez got his second of the game from Rafinha's cross on 57 and almost scored a hat-trick a minute later - but when keeper Javi Varas saved his shot, Arda Turan scored from the rebound.

It was 5-0 in the 80th minute when full-back Vidal converted Paco Alcacer's assist to score his first goal for the club.

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique said his team's performance without the ball was "without doubt the best of the season."

He said: "I'm very content with the performance. We pressed well throughout the game and it was only by a miracle that we did not have the game completely won before half-time.

"We won the ball back an infinite amount of times against a side that don't usually allow you to do that.

"Since the start of 2017 I have only seen very good performances from my players."

Praising second-string players such as Aleix Vidal, Rafinha and Arda Turan he added: "The team comes out of this game reinforced because it showed that we need all the players."

In contrast to Luis Enrique, Las Palmas coach Quique Setien said: "It's probably the worst performance from us since I have been in charge.

"There is a big difference between what we wanted to do and what we were able to do.

"We know that if we don't have the ball we struggle and that is what happened today.

"But this result could be good for us because it puts us back in our place and we should remember that we do not play against these players every week."

Elsewhere on Saturday Atletico Madrid beat Betis 1-0 at the Vicente Calderon thanks to a first-half goal from Nico Gaitan.

The result keeps Diego Simeone's team in the Champions League places and captain Gabi admitted: "We are in a decisive stage of the season and this result serves us very well."

Earlier Athletic Bilbao stayed outside the European spots having been held to a goalless draw away to Leganes.

In the last game on Saturday Villarreal have the chance to close the gap on fourth-placed Atletico Madrid in their visit to Deportivo La Coruna.

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