Barcelona defeated Las Palmas 2-1 on Thursday after Ilkay Gundogan scored a stoppage-time penalty. Xavi Hernandez’s team desperately needed a victory after leaders Real Madrid and Girona both won on Wednesday, with a win putting the Catalans just seven points behind the top two.
After an impressive 2-0 victory against Sevilla earlier on Thursday, Athletic Bilbao is in fourth place, while Atletico Madrid is in fifth after a thrilling 4-3 defeat to Girona.
The mid-table Canary Islanders outplayed Barcelona at times, taking the lead in the 12th minute through former Blaugrana striker Munir El Haddadi.
Ferran Torres equalized for Barcelona in the second half, and Gundogan scored from the spot after being shoved over in the area as he attempted to head into an empty net.
Joao Cancelo injured his left knee in an early tackle and was taken off for the Catalans, who fought strongly in the first half. After the game, Xavi stated that Cancelo’s injury did not seem too serious and that it would be analysed on Friday.
Another product of the Blaugrana youth academy, Sandro Ramirez, set up Munir for the opener with a low cross. As the hosts got the best of the first half, Inaki Pena tipped a low Sandro shot wide, with Xavi’s side appearing disconnected and even frustrated at times.
The visitors created their first chance when Frenkie de Jong sent Sergi Roberto through on goal, but his ball for Ferran Torres was intercepted by another former Barcelona player, Mika Marmol.
Roque wasted an excellent chance to score his first goal for Barcelona and seal the game, but his team left both triumphant and relieved regardless.