A brace from leo Messi and a Luis Suraez strike ensured the Blaugranes made a much-needed return to winning ways at the El Sadar Stadium.
After some recent patchy form, it was vital Luis Enrique's side got their title charge back on track, and they did just that with an impressively accomplished team performance at Pamplona
Having drawn just three games in a row , Barcelona travelled to El Sadar Stadium on Saturday afternoon, in a bid to scoop up three vital points and ratchet up the pressure on League leaders Real Madrid.
Taking on a Ca Osasuna side languishing in relegation zone, the Blaugranes looked to put their poor league form beside them and seal a win on Pamplona ahead of a tough derby fixture against Espanyol before Christmas holiday.
Here’s my takeaways from the game:
After failing to convert their chances at goal in the first half in which they dominated play, The Catalans managed to break the deadlock after the break when Suarez opened the scoring with an easy tap in.
Messi, marking his 550th appearance for Barcelona, then added the second and sealed a routine victory with a fine individual goal, dancing into space inside the home penalty area before drilling in.
Jordi Alba was one of the architects of today's victory against Osasuna thanks to his two assists which set up Luis Suárez's opener and Messi's first goal. Saturday's game was the first one in which the full back assisted twice in a league game and he now has three for the season having set up Arda Turan's strike in the 6-2 victory over Betis.
Speaking of full backs, on the right hand side Sergi Roberto played excellently. He created space and used the ball well throughout and was assured defensively. He recovered twelve balls in the 90 minutes and this was the most of any FC Barcelona
Leo Messi has twenty goals against Osasuna, seven of which have been away at El Sadar. In fact, it is the third time the Argentinian has managed bagged a double in Pamplona. The Argentinian, with his two strikes against Osasuna now has eleven and is top scorer in the league. Luis Suárez and Cristiano Ronaldo are not far behind with ten each.
With Luis Suárez 's goal in Pamplona, the Uruguayan has now scored against 22 of the 24 teams he has played against in La Liga . The only two teams he is yet to get a goal against are Málaga and Alavés.
Messi has been doing this for years, in fact, he has now played 550 games for the Catalan club and has overtaken Migueli, who played 549 games for the club, as the player with the fourth highest number of appearances in Barça's history.
Against Osasuna Barça dominated throughout and almost reached 80% of possession with an average of 79.22%. This statistic is truly remarkable and means Luis Enrique' s players were in possession for 44 of the 56 minutes in which the ball was in play. Sergio Busquets was the Barça player with the highest number of successful passes with 122.
Barca cut the gap on arch-rivals Real to three points before Zinedine Zidane's side restored their six- point advantage with a dramatic 3-2 home win against struggling Deportivo La Coruna later on Saturday.
The Basque side had their moment too as Oriol Riera and Sergio Leon came close to breaking the deadlock for Joaquin Caparros's side, who offered stern resistance despite having claimed only seven points all season.
Lucho would be delighted with his side’s efforts on what looked to be a tricky afternoon for Barcelona. Patience approach paid-off.
"We deserved the win, we created plenty of chances. I'm really pleased with the match I saw and the performances from my players. "We knew from the start how difficult this game was going to be. But we kept our patience and the goalscoring opportunities soon started to come."
Feels good to have a motm vote dilemma for all the right reasons. Messi, Alba and Sergio Busquet all did really well today, as did others. Basque side looked well up for it at the start as well, so this wasn't a case of us beating our heads against a parked bus. They wanted it, but we wanted it more and struck when it mattered. Some very nice team goals scored today. After a very strong First half showing we could have won this 5-0 and it wouldn't have flattered us.
Barcelona return to action next Sunday to face crosstown rivals Espanyol at home.
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