Barcelona picked up an away win at Las Palmas on Saturday, but their performance was far from convincing.
Up against one of the worst teams in La Liga, the Spanish champions gave an unconvincing display but did eventually make it to 32 games undefeated in all competitions, as well as stretching their lead at the top of the table to nine points.
The scoring was opened by Luis Suárez after just six minutes, with the Uruguayan netting his 41st goal of the season in just his 37th appearance in all competitions. Great.
However, without Gerard Piqué and Sergio Busquets, Barça weren’t themselves defensively or on the ball, and conceded an equaliser soon after. Unfortunately the two stalwarts of the side will be back in action on Tuesday and if anything underlined lately their brilliance it was their absence on Saturday. Busquets in particular is probably in the form of his life, and is a hugely important part of the club’s work in possession, as well as their setup against counter-attacks. Arsenal will face the finest midfielder in the world on Tuesday night, and Barcelona will look a different side with him back.
Even without two key players, they still managed to win. Neymar netted the winner in the first half, and a ropey end to the game was saved when former Gunner Thomas Vermaelen made a crucial late clearance.
You get the impression Barcelona won’t be so sloppy on Tuesday night and, if they are, will Arsenal even be able to punish them and end a club record 32 game unbeaten run? Let’s hope so.