Barca should not have played amid Catalan referendum violence — Pep Guardiola

Barca should not have played amid Catalan referendum violence — Pep Guardiola”

In the end, an empty stadium saw Barcelona record a comfortable win.

League leaders Barca tried to have the game postponed, but their request was turned down by La Liga.

There was also division among the board, with vice-president Carles Vilarrubi and director Jordi Mones tendering their resignations as a result of their opposition to the game going ahead.

Earlier, Barcelona had requested the game be suspended following violence over Catalonia's controversial independence vote as at least 91 people were injured as Spanish riot police fired rubber bullets and forced their way into activist-held polling stations over the independence vote deemed illegal by the Spanish government on Sunday.

According to BBC Sport, Barcelona "asked for a postponement because they did not feel it would be appropriate to play the game".

Espanyol said it will respect its employees' decision on whether to strike, while Girona said the entire club will be closed.

And in feeding Busquets for the goal, Messi reached a century of Liga assists at the Barca home. His second was an easy shot from close range after a pass by Luis Suarez.

During the match, which Barcelona won 3-0 thanks to two goals from Lionel Messi, the scoreboard at the Camp Nou displayed a picture of a ballot box with the word 'democracy' on it. The BBC says that Barcelona's players warmed up in yellow-and-red-striped club shirts - the colours of the Estelada flag that is a symbol of Catalan independence.

Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu clarifies the club's decision to play Las Palmas behind closed doors.

"It would have been a six-point loss - three for not playing and three as a punishment", he said.

"We took the necessary steps and La Liga authorised us to put the flag on our jersey.The Las Palmas town hall was troubled by the move because it thought we were taking a political stance but everything has been clarified".

Amid the international break, Barca have already joined a Catalonia-wide strike on Tuesday and will continue to defend the people's right to self-determination.

And this brilliant video brings all of the sounds in an empty Camp Nou and a sight not too common in Barcelona matches.

Meanwhile, Spain's World No. 1 Rafael Nadal said he felt like crying.

"We don't want them to think that we dislike Spain", he added.

"It's a strange and complicated situation for everyone".

Barcelona lead the standings on 21 points, five clear of Sevilla in second.

He said: "We weren't very focused".

"We have had seven years of demonstrations without violence and what happened today has been seen around the world".

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