Lionel Messi and Frenkie De Jong were left at home, while injuries to Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti and Ronald Araujo meant that Clement Lenglet was the only senior centre-back in the squad.
Also, Sergio Busquets was injured on Spain duty this past international break, so Ronald Koeman was light on options in the middle of the park as well.
Despite this, the Catalans managed to produce an especially impressive second-half performance to blow away their hosts and secure passage to the knockout stages of the Champions League with two games to spare.
Sergino Dest scored his first goal for the club, Martin Braithwaite bagged an impressive brace and Antoine Griezmann scored a lethal finish in injury time in a game that boded well for the Catalans’ strength in depth.
There was also a number of debutants in the game. Oscar Mingueza started at centre-back while Matheus Fernandes and Konrad de la Fuente both came on in the second half.
After a tough first half where they dominated possession but failed to find a breakthrough, their hard work was rewarded after the restart, six minutes after to be precise, through a Dest goal.
The right back scored his first goal for the club and played a role in the build-up, too. He started from deep before seeing the ball fall to Braithwaite, who fed him in turn down the right side. Dest made no mistake with his finish, a remarkably cool effort, to give Barcelona a 1-0 lead.
Just five minutes later, Barcelona doubled their advantage. Braithwaite, having just assisted Dest, got his name on the score sheet. Debutant Mingueza flicked on a header from a corner for the Dane to finish at the back post.
Braithwaite got his second and Barcelona’s third a quarter of an hour later, slotting low and hard to the left with his penalty kick after being the one fouled to earn it.
Then, in injury time, French forward Griezmann put the icing on the cake for the Catalans to make it 4-0 and put Barcelona into the knockout stages of the Champions League. A good day’s work for the Catalans.
Featured image courtesy of FC Barcelona.