MADRID (Reuters) - Luis Suarez scored a brace and Lionel Messi was also on target as Barcelona thrashed Las Palmas 5-0 on Saturday with a ruthless second-half display at the Nou Camp to provisionally go second and cut the gap with leaders Real Madrid to two points.
Uruguay international Suarez scored his 101st goal for Barcelona by stroking in Andre Gomes’ cutback in the 15th minute as the Portuguese midfielder recorded his first assist for the club since his 35-million-euro move from Valencia last summer.
Barca coach Luis Enrique had rotated his side after Wednesday’s 3-1 victory over Athletic Bilbao in the King’s Cup, resting Neymar, Gerard Pique, captain Andres Iniesta and Sergi Roberto but still watched his side dominate Las Palmas.
Messi scored for the seventh consecutive competitive game by mopping up a loose ball on the rebound in the 52nd minute after Rafinha’s shot was only parried by goalkeeper Javi Varas, while Suarez curled in a pass from Rafinha to get his second and Barca’s third in the 57th.
Suarez spurned the chance to seal a hat-trick a minute later but Arda Turan mopped up after Varas had saved to score the fourth, while out-of-favour right back Aleix Vidal netted his first goal for the club in the 80th minute.
Barcelona are second in the standings, two points behind Real Madrid, who have played two games fewer and face third placed Sevilla on Sunday. Atletico Madrid can consolidate their hold on fourth spot when they host Real Betis later on Saturday.
Reporting by Richard Martin, editing by Neil Robinson