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Neymar dropped for the first time in a year

BARCELONA 5 -0 LAS PALMAS

Neymar dropped for the first time in a year

Neymar dropped for the first time in a year

FERNANDO ZUERAS

DIARIO AS

The Brazilian last started a game from the bench on 13 January 2016 against Espanyol. Iniesta was also rested, as was Rakitic, who hasn't been in the starting line-up since El Clásico.

One of the surprises of the Matchday 18 came with news that the MSN would be broken up as Neymar was announced among the substitutes for Barcelona's home game against Las Palmas.  

Benched

The Brazilian forward hasn't started from the bench for over a year, since in Barça's Copa del Rey last 16 tie away to Catalan neighbours Espanyol on 13 January 2016. On that occasion Luis Enrique's went into the game with a comfortable 4-1 win and, despite Neymar's absence, came away from Cornellá El Prat 2-0 victors to seal their passage into the quarter-finals. 

Iniesta used sparingly 

Andrés Iniesta also started the game as an onlooker in the dugout, with Rafinha getting the nod in central midfield to give the Barça skipper some respite. 

Rakitic warms the bench again

Ivan Rakitic's omission is one that no longer causes much surprise. In the midst of the winter transfer window, rumours surrounding the midfielder's future continue to swirl with every game and every substitute's appearance. Luis Enrique appears to have lost faith in the Croat, who has not started a game for a month, with his last appearance in the starting line-up coming in El Clásico against Real Madrid.

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