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November 17, 2012
• Camp Nou, Barcelona
Referee: Miguel Ángel Ayza Gámez
• Attendance: 73428
L. Messi 16', 60'
A. Song 28'
Paco Montañés 24'
FULL TIME. Barcelona run out eventual 3-1 winners over Real Zaragoza at Camp Nou. A brace from Lionel Messi and a goal from and Alex Song cancel out Paco Montanes' first half equaliser to continue their best start to a La Liga season! Real Madrid look to keep up with the hosts as they face Athletic Bilbao next! Thank you for joining us on Goal.com! See you next time!
Barcelona continue their best start to a La Liga season. Zaragoza have played admirably but the Catalan class of the hosts have ultimately won the match.
Iniesta receives the ball 25 yards out and looks to slip an incisive pass through the middle for Cesc but it is just overhit and the ball runs through to Roberto.
Lionel Messi has scored 50 goals in the 33 Spanish league games he has so far played in the year 2012. Another unbelievable stat in regards to the Argentine! Awesome!
Penalty shout for Barca!!! Iniesta exchanges a fantastic one-two on the edge of the box and drives inside but a superb challenge from Goni clears the ball out for a corner! It looked like a pen but replays showed it was a fantastic challenge!
Barca doing well to tire Zaragoza at the moment. Cesc has added a much needed touch of composure in the centre of the park and the hosts look much better for it.
Iniesta hits the woodwork! So unlucky! He cuts inside and whips a fantastic shot towards the top corner but it cannons off the crossbar! Zaragoza let off the hook!
Tito Vilanova makes his third and final change of the match as Cesc comes on for Pedro.
Carles Puyol comes off to be replaced by Marc Bartra. The Barcelona captain receives a standing ovation as walks off the park, a truly fantastic recovery from his elbow injury.
A change to report for Zaragoza as Victor Rodriguez comes off to be replaced by Helder Postiga. The Portuguese will add some pace and movement to the frontline.
Very quiet game currently. Barca can feel that the game is basically won and Zaragoza look too tired to mount any kind of comeback. The Catalans looking very comfortable at the moment.
Apono finds some space on the inside left channel and looks to send a ball into the box. He floats a ball it for Alvaro but it is slightly overhit and the ball goes out for a corner kick. Just a little too much on the cross from the Zaragoza man there.
Tello picks up the ball on the left-hand side and drives towards the Zaragoza box. He looks to get the ball on to his right but a good tackle from Goni dispossesses the Barca man.
Barca have dropped a few gears since going two goals ahead. Perhaps not the best tactic as Zaragoza have proved that they can get goal at Camp Nou. As the visitors press forward, however, they will open up more space for the Catalans.
A substitution to report for you now as David Villa comes off to be replaced by Cristian Tello.
Zaragoza look slightly crestfallen since the Barca goal went in, and no wonder. They have put a hell of a lot into this match put Messi pops up again to halt the ascendancy of the away side.
Goal Lionel Messi
GOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAL FOR BARCELONA!!! Messi again!! The Argentine plays the ball out to Montoya on the right-hand side who plays the ball back inside. Messi then gloriously curls the ball into the bottom left corner! Fantastic! 3-1!
Aranda plays the ball inside to Movilla just on the edge of the box who attempts to slip an intricate pass through the middle for Victor but Valdes dashes out from his line quickly to claim possession.
Messi picks up a loose ball 35 yards from goal and threads a lovely pass through the centre for Villa. The former Valencia man is just a yard away from latching on to the ball but Zaragoza recover well and manage to clear.
The whole match is a little scrappy at the moment. Both teams are struggling to get there foot on the ball and play. Fair play to Zaragoza as they are being ambitious in their forward play.
However, Barca as a whole have been relatively sloppy in their passing for in the latest portion of the match. This is mainly due to the commendable pressing of the Zaragoza players. How long can the hosts keep up the intensity of this though?
Xavi does his best to calm down the game. The maestro has showed so many classy touches tonight. He is running the match at the moment.
Yellow Card Franco Zuculini
The second half has started much in the same vein as the first. Zaragoza are putting themselves about but Barca look resilient with their passing in the middle.
WE ARE BACK UNDERWAY IN CAMP NOU!
HALF TIME. Barcelona lead Zaragoza 2-1 at the break thanks to goals from Lionel Messi and Alex Song. Francisco Montanes equalised for the visitors and the away side are looking good in possession. A fairly tight match. Join us in 15 minutes for the second half! We could have a cracker in store!
A bit of a role reversal for Barca at the moment. They are sitting deep in their own half and it is Zaragoza who are coolly playing the ball to each other in the final third. Los Blanquillos have been impressive tonight.
Good play from Zaragoza currently. Alvaro steams forward and attempts to pick out Aranda through the middle but Pique comes in with an excellent challenge to clear the ball. The away side are pinging the ball around nicely.
A slightly quiet period in the match at the moment. There have been three goals scored in the match but there has pretty much been no other golden goalscoring chances being created.
Zaragoza have won four of their last five matches across all competitions, and it shows. They are playing with a lot of confidence and the Barca defence will need to be on full alert.
Barca look to calm things down a little. Zaragoza were probing forward there and the home defence just kept the ball for a couple of minutes to stifle the ascendancy of Manolo Jimenez's men. Intelligent from the hosts.
Iniesta picks up the ball in the centre and looks to drive towards the Zaragoza defence but a fantastic challenge from Raul Goni wins the ball back for the hosts. They are certainly showing no fear here, the away side.
Zaragoza attempt to break from defence but any potential attack is scuppered after Montanes brings down Pique, and then eventually Montoya. Two fouls for the price of one! Barca free kick.
Nearly a wonderful goal from Iniesta! He times his run to perfection behind the Zaragoza defence and sees himself on the byline with Roberto in his way. He attempts to squeeze the ball into the near corner but it just hits the side-netting.
Assist Lionel Messi
Goal Alex Song
GOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAL FOR BARCELONA!!! Exquisite from Messi! The Argentine nutmegs the defender and gets to the byline before reversing a pass into the centre for Alex Song who side-foots the ball through Zaragoza defenders into the net! 2-1!
Zaragoza playing with confidence now. A goal at the Camp Nou will do that to you. Lets see if they can withstand the likely Barca barrage, though.
GOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAL FOR ZARAGOZA! A corner kick is whipped in and Montoya clears the ball to the edge of the box. Francisco Montanes is on hand to smash a deflected shot past Victor Valdes! It took a nick of Puyol before going into the net! 1-1!
Zaragoza probing in the final third currently. They have had a spring in their step since the goal and look a genuine threat going forward, especially Zucilini down the right.
David Villa, Iniesta, and Alba link up excellently down the left-hand side. A few impressive flicks round the corner but a wayward pass eventually sees Iniesta flagged as offside. Barca really look in the mood tonight.
Zucilini picks up the ball beside the corner flag and attempts to drive into the area but Jordi Alba defends well and shields the ball out for a Barca goal kick.
Assist Jordi Alba
Goal Lionel Messi
GOOOOOOOAAAAAAL FOR BARCELONA!!! Jordi Alba gets down the wing again and slips the ball inside to Messi. The Argentine takes a glorious touch past the Zaragoza defence before coolly slotting into the bottom left corner! Wonderful goal! 1-0 Barca.
Superb play from Xavi. The Barca man ran back the length of the park and dispossessed Zaragoza before holding off three challenges and spraying the ball across the park. He receives an ovation from the home crowd.
Manolo Jimenez has opted for Carlos Aranda in attack tonight instead of Helder Postiga. The former does have more of a physical presence in the final third but a slightly controversial choice from the coach?
Zaragoza settling into the game more now. Movilla and Pinter are enjoying a small period of possession in the middle of the park and it has took the pressure off their defence.
A small break in play at the moment as Alex Song is currently down injured. The Cameroonian went up for a header with Carlos Aranda and landed fairly awkwardly. He looks okay though. Play continues.
Zaragoza making their intentions known early in the match. They are sitting very, very deep inside their own half and are looking to hit the hosts on the counterattack. They do have some pace throughout the side, so lets see how it works out for them.
Barca typically dominating possession in the early stages. There is a confidence about their play knowing that they have their first-choice central defensive pairing of Puyol and Pique at the back.
Messi goes close!!! Alba drives down the left-hand side and whips a low cross into the centre. The Argentine lashes the ball first-time towards the bottom left corner but it goes a whisker by the post!
WE ARE UNDERWAY IN BARCELONA!
Zaragoza's last win over Barca at Camp Nou came in the Copa del Rey quarter-final first leg in February 2007.
Lionel Messi needs seven more goals to overtake Cesar Rodriguez (190 goals) as Barcelona's all-time top scorer in La Liga. A truly incredible amount of goals from the Argentine! He is only 25 years old!
Just under 10 minutes from kick-off now. I'd say its about time for some mind-blowing stats!
This is the starting XI of Zaragoza: Roberto; Zuculini, Goni, Alvaro, Paredes; Movilla, Pinter; Apono, Víctor, Montanes; Aranda
This is how Barcelona will be lining up tonight: Valdes; Montoya, Pique, Puyol, Alba; Xavi, Song, Iniesta; Pedro, Messi, Villa
THE TEAMS ARE IN.
I'm Martin Macdonald, and I'll be taking you through the action this evening! You can follow Goal.com International on Twitter at @goal_intl so don't forget to post your thoughts, feelings, and predictions on the match!
Good evening folks! Welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of the Spanish Primera Division encounter between Barcelona and Real Zaragoza at Camp Nou!
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