MADRID – FC Barcelona returned to form in La Liga with a comfortable 4-0 win at home to Osasuna on Sunday but suffered another injury setback when central defender Clement Lenglet limped out of the game in the second half.
Barca coach Ronald Koeman brought Leo Messi and Frenkie de Jong back into his starting 11 after resting both for last week’s Champions League win away to Dynamo Kiev and young central defender Oscar Mingueza kept his place alongside Lenglet and Martin Braithwaite started in attack.
The Dane opened the scoring after 29 minutes after Osasuna keeper Sergio Herrera had blocked a shot from Philippe Coutinho allowing him to fire the loose ball home.
Osasuna created chances and Marc Andre Ter Stegen produced an excellent double stop to deny Unai before Antoine Griezmann doubled Barca’s lead with a stunning left foot shot.
Sergio Busquets replaced 18-year-old Pedri at halftime as Koeman looked to tighten things up in midfield and Barca made it 3-0 in the 57th minute when he finished off a move that began with Griezmann winning possession to start a move that continued with Messi and Braithwaite, before Griezmann again appeared to give the final pass.
Lenglet had to be helped off in the 64th minute after twisting his ankle and his injury means Barcelona currently have no fit central defenders in their first team squad, with Gerard Pique, Ronald Araujo and Samuel Umtiti all injured.
He was replaced by midfielder Carles Alena, moments before Roberto Torres should have given Osasuna a lifeline only to fire against the post when it looked easier to score.
Ousmane Dembele thought he had scored Barca’s fourth, but the Frenchman’s goal was ruled out after a previous offside from Francisco Trincao, but Messi added the fourth after dribbling past two defenders and firing home a trademark left foot shot.
The goal allowed Messi to give his own personal homage to Diego Maradona, who died earlier in the week, as he took off his Barca shirt to reveal a replica of the Newells Old Boys shirt Maradona wore during his brief spell at Messi’s hometown club in 1993.