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Spain - Primera Division
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Deportivo La Coruña
March 9, 2013
• Camp Nou, Barcelona
Referee: Pedro Jesús Pérez Montero
• Attendance: 69748
A. Sánchez 38'
L. Messi 88'
Deportivo La Coruña
Full time in Camp Nou. An Alexis Sanchez goal and Lionel Messi's 17th consecutive goal in the Spanish Primera Division give Barcelona a relatively comfortable 2-0 victory over Deportivo. The hosts had plenty of chances to add to their lead, but an in-form Daniel Aranzubia kept Depor in with a shout for the majority of the match. The Catalan side go on to face Milan in the Champions League with a win under their belt! I'm Martin Macdonald, thank you for joining us on Goal.com!
Messi, Iniesta, and Busquets have made a real difference since their introduction. There has been an added intensity to their movement and passing.
Assist Alexis Sánchez
GOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAL FOR BARCELONA!!! ABSOLUTELY SCINTILLATING!! Messi skips inside and exchanges a wonderful one-two with Alexis before latching onto the return to dink the ball over the oncoming Aranzubia!! Fantastic play!! 2-0!
Depor have came out of their shell more in the last 10 minutes, but Iniesta has game Barca a little more flair in the final third. There is definitely another goal in this.
Yellow Card Alex Song
Not much, unfortunately. The visitors too have also been wasteful from set-pieces. For all of Barcelona's wastefulness in front of goal, they have not been troubled at the back.
Free kick to Depor in a decent position. Aguilar is brought down by Mascherano a few yards into the Barca half. Let's see what they can make of this.
Barca have been very wasteful from their set-pieces so far. Too many times their corner kicks or free kicks into the box have not made it past the first man.
Signature run from Messi! The Argentine picks up the ball in the centre circle and drives towards the ball the Depor goal, evading challenges as he goes. He slips the ball out to Iniesta who slides in Alexis, but his crossed is cleared for a corner.
A small period of possession for Depor. They are spraying the ball across the park but Barca have retreated deep to form a defensive wall. The visitors don't look like they have any ideas.
That is, if, Deportivo continue to be wasteful in possession. That have not had one shot on target in the game, which kind of shows why they are rooted to the bottom of the Spanish Primera Division table.
The Catalan giants have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 13 matches across all competitions, but it looks like they'll wipe out that unwanted record tonight.
Last substitution of the match from Barca, and it's a slightly defensive one. Cesc Fabregas is replaced by Sergio Busquets.
GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAL TO BARCA!! WAIT, NO!! Iniesta lashes a strike towards goal and Aranzubia makes a superb save to his right! Messi comes in and rifles the ball home but he is flagged as offside! Depor let off the hook!
Yellow Card A. Aguilar
Yellow Card Carles Puyol
Ohhhh bad tackle from Puyol!! The Barca captain goes in slightly two-footed on substitute, Camunas!! Aguilar then kicks the ball off Puyol and a scuffle ensues. The referee calms things down and dishes out the booking.
The game is getting pretty stretched at the moment. Depor are beginning to show a little more adventure going forward, but this will likely create more space for Barca to operate.
Messi has scored in a record 16 consecutive Liga appearances. You wouldn't put it past him continuing his run tonight.
It doesn't get any easier for Deportivo. Andres Iniesta comes on to replace Thiago.
Ohhhh so close to getting to Tello!! Messi turns swiftly with is back to goal and slides a sensational pass in behind the Depor defence for Tello, but Manuel Pablo, again, is there there to just block the ball! Very nearly fantastic!
Poor final pass from Alves! Mascherano stands a superb cross over to the right wing for the Brazilian who drives forward and reverses a cross inside, but Aythami is there to make the vital tackle and clear the ball to safety!
Deportivo follow suit and make a change of their own. Juan Valeron is replaced by Javier Camunas.
The Argentine comes on for David Villa. That'll be a like-for-like change through the middle for Barca.
The crowd erupts in cheers as Lionel Messi gets ready on the bench to come on for Barca.
Small bit of respite for Deportivo now. Puyol comes through the back of Pizzi down the left and the referee blows for a foul to the visitors. The Barca captain is adamant that should have went the other way.
Good defending again from Manuel Pablo. Tello looks to take him on and tries a few step-overs but he remains solid to steal the ball back. The Barca man needs to show more invention down the left.
Patient play from Barcelona at the moment. Thiago, Song, and Cesc have all moved a few yards up the pitch and are dictating the play in and around the Depor penalty area.
Penalty shout for Barcelona!! Alves crosses deep to the back post and Cesc heads behind, but the former Arsenal man is adamant the ball came off the hand of Valeron! The referee gives a goal kick!
Great defending from Manuel Pablo!! Dani Alves drives down to the byline and clips a cross to the back post for Villa, who looks poised to head in, but the right-back clears the ball with a superb header behind goal! That looked a certain goal!
Quiet pace to the second half. Barca are playing the ball almost at walking pace in the middle of the park. Depor are sitting deep in their own half, allowing the hosts to keep possession easily.
The second half is under way!
Half time in Camp Nou. A solitary strike from Alexis Sanchez is the difference between the sides as Barcelona lead Deportivo 1-0 at the break. The home side have had plenty of opportunities to score, and should be more than one goal ahead, but only go in with a slight advantage. Join us in 15 minutes for the second half!
Villa exchanges a superb one-two with Alexis before running through on goal but the linesman flags for a offside. Only just, though.
A poor final pass is the reason Barcelona don't have a bigger lead in the match. They have been getting into great positions in the Depor box, but the last ball has not been good enough too many times.
That was coming for a while, but Depor need to make sure they don't capitulate before the end of the first half.
Assist Daniel Alves
Goal Alexis Sánchez
GOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAL FOR BARCELONA!!! Dani Alves clips a cross to the back post and Alexis Sanchez powers a header towards goal, Aranzubia makes a wonderful save but the Chilean follows up his attempt and smashes the ball home from on the line! 1-0 Barca!
Depor need to do more when in possession. They have seen the ball a few times but the ball is being surrendered cheaply.
A rare shot on goal from the visitors. Nelson Oliveira skips inside and smashes a left-footed strike towards goal, but the direction wasn't there and the attempts goes wide of the left-hand post. It will need to be better than that to beat Pinto.
Barca have just kicked things up a gear in the last 10 minutes or so. It looks like a matter of time until they find they net, but Deportivo still in the game at the moment.
Unlucky Villa. He latches on to a pass down the inside-left channel from Tello and, in the one motion, turns and curls a shot towards the top right corner, but it was just lacking a little bit of pace. Aranzubia makes the save comfortably.
The hosts are just lacking a little bit of killer instinct in the final third. That previous chance for Villa was one he'd normally be scoring easily.
Barca have been knocking at the door for 15 minutes or so now. I don't really know how they haven't took the lead yet, but fair play to Depor, they are defending bravely.
In the build-up to Barca hitting the post we saw some truly scintillating skill from Thiago. The 21-year-old pulled off a sensational Marseille turn before smashing a crossfield pass out to the feet of Tello. Wonderful to watch.
VILLA MUST SCORE!! What is he doing?! The Barca man breaks the Depor offside trap and has all the time in the world to find a corner, but instead chips the ball on to the chest of the oncoming Aranzubia! That has to go down as a sitter!
Barcelona hit the post!! Tello gets by the defender with a step-overs with reverses the ball into the area. The ball cannons off Aythami and clips the bottom of the post! Aranzubia may have got a glove to that!
Fantastic challenge from Silvio!! Villa drives to the byline and lashes a cross to the back post. Alexis looks to turn the ball towards goal but the Depor left-back comes in with a superb goal-saving tackle!
Lovely play from Valeron. The Depor veteran displayed terrific skill to flick the ball behind the Barca defence for Oliveira, but the Portuguese was eventually crowded out by Alves and Puyol. The hosts move the ball up the park.
Almost a wonderful Barca goal! Thiago skips inside and threads a ball round the corner for Adriano, but the Brazilian's pass inside to Villa was intercepted by Aranzubia! Great stuff from Thiago.
Awful miss from Fabregas!!! Alves picks out his team-mate with a fantastic high ball over the top of the Deportivo defence, but the former Arsenal man horribly slices his left-footed attempt high and wide over the bar! He had time to pick his spot!
Good save from Aranzubia!! The ball falls to Dani Alves at the back post and the right-back lashes a volley towards the near post, but the Depor 'keeper gets down to make the save with his feet! First real chance for the hosts goes begging!
Song takes a poor touch in the middle of midfield and, in his attempts to reclaim the ball, barges Pizzi over unceremoniously. Free kick to Depor just inside the Barca half.
Almost a wonderful pass from Thiago! He finds space 25 yards from goal and threads the ball in behind the defender for the onrushing Alves, but the Brazilian can only manage to slide the ball out to prevent a Depor goal kick.
First shot on goal for Barca. Tello picks up the ball on the edge of the area and lashes a strike towards the top corner, but it rises high over the bar. A feature of Barcelona's play this season has definitely been their desire to hit more shots from deeper areas.
Superb work from Pizzi down the left. The Portuguese showed lightning pace to ride the tackle of Alves before driving into the centre, however, his pass down the channel for Oliveira is intercepted by Puyol.
Extremely packed in midfield at the moment. Assuncao and Aguilar have narrowed themselves in an attempt to squeeze the space for Barca to operate. Neither side really established a rhythm yet.
Barcelona look to establish the pace quickly with some slick movement in midfield. A few wayward passes has seen possession surrendered cheaply in the opening stages, though.
We are under way at Camp Nou!
Depor ended a six-match losing run with a goalless draw at home to Rayo Vallecano last weekend, but have not won at the Camp Nou since 2003.
Depor are probably facing Barcelona at a good time. The Catalan side have lost three of their last four matches in all competitions. They were against Real Madrid and Milan, but this should still provide a confidence boost to the visitors!
The likes of David Villa, Alexis Sanchez, Cristian Tello, Thiago, and Alex Song will all be looking to making an impact in the notable absence of a few first team regulars.
Lionel Messi is the highest profile absentee from the starting line-up, but with Barcelona's crucial Champions League with Milan coming up on Tuesday, it's not a total surprise.
Deportivo (4-2-3-1): Aranzubia; Silvio, Aythami, Insua, Manuel Pablo; Aguilar, Assunçao; Valeron, Pizzi, Gama; Oliveira.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Pinto; Alves, Mascherano, Puyol, Adriano; Thiago, Song, Cesc; Alexis, Villa, Tello
A lot of changes in the Barca first XI...
I'm Martin Macdonald, and I'll be taking you through the action this evening. Here's hoping we have an entertaining match with plenty of goals!
Good evening folks! Welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of the Spanish Primera Division clash between Barcelona and Deportivo at Camp Nou!
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