Leo Messi scored twice and set up Luis Suarez for Barcelona as they enjoyed a comfortable 3-0 win away to bottom of the table Osasuna on Saturday.
Although Barca missed enough first half chances to have sealed the win in the first 45 minutes, Messi’s quality was decisive after the break.
Osasuna had goalkeeper Nauzet Perez to thank for keeping the scores level at halftime. He twice denied Messi when the striker was clean through and would have expected to score and he also went off his side quickly to force Suarez into shooting wide.
Barca controlled nearly all of the possession, enjoying 75 percent of the ball, but were guilty of wasting chance after chance. As well as Messi’s two misses, Suarez hit the post from 10 yards out, while Samuel Umtiti was unable to keep a header down and Andres Iniesta saw a shot drift just wide.
Barca had 12 shots in the first 45 minutes, while all Osasuna could muster was a smart pass from Miguel de las Cuevas which former Barca youngster, Oriol Riera was unable to get a foot to.
The second half kicked off with Sergio Leon almost giving Osasuna a shock lead when his twisting run ended with a chipped shot which hit the bar and bounced to safety.
Barca finally opened the scoring in the 59th minute when Messi worked the ball left for Jordi Alba to leave Suarez with a simple tap in.
Alba was the provider in the 67th minute when he again found space on the left and pulled the ball back for Messi to hit a scuffed shot past Nauzet.
It looked to be game over, but Osasuna called on their pride and Ter Stegen had to tip an Alex Belenguer effort over his bar before Messi scored his second of the game with a twisting run and a cheeky shot into the far corner of the goal to make it 3-0.