Messi's Barcelona deliver typical result in a highly unusual Camp Nou setting

Rafa Nadal is currently in Beijing

Bartomeu said police had guaranteed the safety of fans and everyone else involved in the match at the Camp Nou, and the club could have allowed them in if it wanted.

Former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola has claimed that he would not have gone ahead with Sunday's highly charged La Liga game against Las Palmas were he still in charge at Camp Nou, coming after police violently clashed with Catalan citizens over the region's independence referendum earlier in the day.

If Barcelona, who have won their opening seven league games of the season, had postponed the match without the league's consent they would have been deducted six points.

Barcelona played their La Liga match against Las Palmas in an empty stadium on Sunday as the backdrop of the referendum on Catalonian independence loomed. It was eventually decided 25 minutes prior to the game that the game will go ahead, with fans locked outside the ground.

The push for independence of Catalonia, a nation in the north-eastern part of Spain that's home to 7.5 million people, has caused tension around the country.

New in the second half of Barcelona increased the tempo of the game and able to break through the tight defense of Las Palmas.

'We tried to suspend the game all day long but it wasn't possible, ' Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu said.

For Las Palmas, the defeat leaves them routed in 17th place, just above the relegation zone.

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"If we hadn't played we'd have lost six points, three for the result and three as a punishment", he added.

Later, Messi made it 2-0 with a close-range finish - moments after Luis Suarez had been booked for diving, after being played through on goal and shaping to go round Chichizola. Messi easily fooled goalkeeper Chichizola before netting into the empty net.

Las Palmas issued a statement saying that the team would wear T-shirts embroidered with a small Spanish flag and Sunday's date.

"He's not exhausted. He's missed a lot of games and he's very disappointed because he hasn't scored in La Liga yet, but that's football", Zidane added. With the Spanish flag embroidered on our kit we want to vote unequivocally, in an imaginary consultation that nobody has summoned us to.

"We do it to tell the world that we feel pain for what is happening".

"I know that there are people in Spain who condemn what has happened and believe in democracy".

Security forces were seen using rubber bullets and baton charges as they clashed with protesters, leaving more than 750 people injured, according to Catalan health officials.

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