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Messi fires Barca to victory in empty Nou Camp

Messi fires Barca to victory in empty Nou Camp

Sergio Busquets eventually broke the deadlock four minutes into the second half and Lionel Messi made victory certain with two typically well-taken finishes.

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

The decision to play was not a universal one.

"And if we did have to play it, then not behind closed doors".

He said: "We are not happy with the final scoreline but there some good things to have come out of the match".

Meanwhile, Real Madrid beat Catalan club Espanyol 2-0 with a pair of goals by Isco in a match in which Madrid fans displayed cards with the Spanish flag colors. The league refused and club president Josep Maria Bartomeu said they were threatened with a points deduction if they called off the game. "This game was marked by all that happened today [in Catalonia]".

Las Palmas defended resiliently in an eery Nou Camp bowl for the first 45 minutes. Use of the 12th minute was a reference to the 12th man.

Antonio Sanabria opened the scoring for Betis only for the home side to respond with goals from Willian Jose and Mikel Oyarzabal, and Zou Feddal equalized before the break.

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It still seems highly unlikely that La Liga officials would want to play without Barcelona in their league considering the amount of money and competition they generate in Spain's top tier.

"We shall continue to tell the world about the reality of what's happening in our country and our commitment to its people and their freedoms, a commitment to which the club has remained faithful throughout its 118 years of history", the president said.

"We are going through hard and complicated moments and with respect to what could happen in the future we will take it on with calm and wisdom".

The Spanish league said it was in contact with local authorities and there was no reason to postpone the game because of safety reasons. The club tried to postpone the game, we didn't know if we were going to play.

Outspoken Barca defender Gerard Pique, who posted a picture of him casting his vote early on Sunday, was in tears at the end of the match.

"It wasn't possible and the club wanted to do a gesture with the circumstances surrounding Catalonia". It said that by wearing the flag it was showing its unequivocal support for a "united Spain".

"Regardless of how far away the Gran Canaria Stadium is, we have never felt the least temptation to be part of a country other than this", the team said in a statement.

"We thank both of them for their dedication during all their years of service", Bartomeu said, confirming their resignations had been accepted.