Messi brace seals Barca win at empty Camp Nou

La Liga 17/18 Week 7: Barcelona vs Las Palmas Lineups, Preview & Prediction

Attempts to shut down the polls by Spain's Guardia Civil led to violent scenes described by Catalonia president Carles Puigdemont as "unwarranted, irrational and irresponsible".

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 docked six points.

"We were aware of what happened here today, we don't live in an igloo", Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said.

He accused the ruling conservative Popular Party of "using all means at its disposal to lie, because over these years they've said that it was a small minority and that we demonstrated in a rowdy manner". It is not the ideal situation, it's an exceptional situation.

"The club committee tried to postpone the game then they came to the dressing room and, as a club, we debated it and chose to play". The Camp Nou was empty today due to the board not allowing fans in for political reasons.

But the club made a decision to turn down the option of opening the gates as normal to a bumper crowd, instead taking a stand against the football authorities for refusing to accept the postponement request and threatening the club with a points deduction.

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"Today was a special day, we had to focus on the sporting part, which wasn't very nice for us, and we were affected by everything as other things were on our minds", he added. There were very few Espanyol fans at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, but they displayed at least one flag with the red and yellow colors of Catalonia.

"It has been the opposite as they have injured people with rubber bullets, which are illegal in Catalonia".

This move returned in June when the government announced it would hold an independence referendum on October 1, which once again was blocked by Spanish courts and declared illegal.

"Tests carried out show that the player Andrés Iniesta has a hamstring strain in his left leg and he is expected to be out for about around 10 days" Barcelona stated. But even still: with Barcelona already pulling away at the top of the Spanish soccer league, perhaps a better sign of solidarity with the voters outside would've been to cancel the match altogether, rather than play for the TV audience.

Las Palmas just don't look the same side without Quique Setien in charge and perhaps without Roque Mesa in midfield.



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