Boateng started in a weakened Barcelona side as coach Ernesto Velverde rested key players Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Sergio Bosquets.

The on-loan Sassuolo forward was making his third appearance for the club as the catalans extended their lead at the top to 12 points with Atletico Madrid yet to play.

Four players were handed their La Liga debuts for the runaway leaders in an uneventful game.

Defenders Jean-Clair Todibo, Jeison Murillo and Moussa Wague and midfielder Riqui Puig all made their first league appearances for the La Liga champions.

Winger Malcolm came close to grabbing the opener after his shot hit the post from a tight angle for Barca.

French forward Ousmane Dembele made his comeback after a month out with a hamstring injury, with Kevin-Prince Boateng making only his third Barca appearance.

Barcelona host Manchester United in the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday at the Camp Nou.

CREDIT: ghanasoccernet