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October 5, 2013
• Camp Nou, Barcelona
Referee: Fernando Teixeira Vitienes
• Attendance: 64659
A. Sánchez 14', 64'
Javi Guerra 10'
Shots on Target
That's all from me for tonight guys and girls. I hope you enjoyed that game as much as I did! Good night!
FULL-TIME: BARCELONA 4-1 VALLADOLID The Blaugrana responded well after going a goal behind early on, as Alexis and Neymar inspired them to their eighth consecutive win in La Liga. The Chile international struck either side of half-time – the first of which was an absolute belter – while Xavi and Neymar were also on the scoresheet. Martino will be delighted with his team's unbeaten start to the campaign, as they go three points clear for the time being, with second-placed Atletico Madrid taking on Celta Vigo tomorrow.
90' + 4'
And there is the final whistle!
90' + 3'
Alexis should have his hat-trick after being set up for an easy finish by Pedro, but his effort goes straight into the arms of Marino in the Valladolid goal.
90' + 1'
Yellow Card Omar
90' + 1'
Omar Ramos is shown a yellow card after crashing into Alves on the near side while leading with his elbow. That was a crazy challenge!
The fourth official signals for three minutes of added time at Camp Nou.
The Valladolid coach Martinez said before the game that "facing Barça is like racing against Usain Bolt". That has literally been the case up against some of Barcelona's players tonight – Alexis, Tello and Neymar could probably run the 100m in close to 10secs flat.
STAT: Overall, Valladolid have won just three times in 30 meetings between the two sides and their last triumph at Camp Nou came in November 1997.
Valladolid are camped in their own half as we move into the final 10 minutes at Camp Nou. They haven't really been at the races in this second period, the away side.
The Spain international is immediately called into action as he blocks Osorio's effort out for a corner.
Busquets replaces Pique for the hosts, and immediately lines up at centre-back alongside Bartra.
Again Neymar, and Barcelona, should have a penalty. The attacker is sent crashing to the floor inside the box after tricking his way past Rueda but the referee ignores the Blaugrana's appeals for a spot-kick.
Pedro comes on to replace Tello, and the youngster is given a warm standing ovation by the fans at Camp Nou after contributing two assists for his side tonight.
Give Alexis a lot of credit for passing in that position, I'm not sure I would have...
Assist Alexis Sánchez
GREAT PLAY BY BARCELONA!! NOW IT'S 4-0! Alexis gets the ball in a wide position, before touching it inside and being played through on goal by a delicious touch from Xavi. One-on-one with Marino, and on a hat-trick, instead of shooting the Barca No.9 unselfishly sets Neymar up for an easy finish. That was a brilliant team goal by Martino's men.
Alexis is oozing confidence following his second goal. He has just pulled off a nutmeg through the legs of Pena after bamboozling the defender with a triple step-over.
Off goes Fabregas to be replaced by Andres Iniesta, who was sensational midweek in the Blaugrana's Champions League victory over Celtic.
Andrés Iniesta Luján
Goal Alexis Sánchez
EXHIBITION STUFF FROM BARCA! ALEXIS MAKES IT 3-1! Alves steals the ball from Rossi, Xavi slides the ball to Neymar, the Brazilian repeats the favour for the on-rushing Alexis, and he takes it in his stride before slipping a finish under Marino and into the bottom left corner. Smashing play by the hosts.
A sexy one-touch move from Barca nearly creates a third goal, but for a last-ditch tackle from Rukavina as Alves looks to retrieve Neymar's no-look back-heeled pass inside the Valladolid box.
Valladolid make the first change of the evening, as the Colombian Humberto Osorio comes on for their goalscorer, Guerra.
GREAT STRIKE FROM TELLO! The speedy winger often seems to use his right foot for little more than standing on, but he has just called it into action by curling a delicious effort against the crossbar from 20 yards after cutting in from the left.
Alves takes this one. But his effort, too, is a disappointing one, as it clips the Valladolid wall and bounces out for a corner.
Neymar fires a shot into the side netting and then secures a free kick moments later after drawing yet another foul from Rossi.
Valladolid are awarded a free kick for a supposed foul by Bartra on Guerra, but there appeared to be very little contact there. The Barcelona centre-back looks as bemused as anyone inside the stadium at that decision.
THAT IS A LOVELY FINISH FROM XAVI! The 33-year-old slid a fine finish past Marino after Neymar had done well to dance past a couple of challenges and feed the ball out to Tello, who fired a pass to Xavi on the penalty spot. That was a joy to watch.
Alexis attempts to buy a free kick from the referee with an awful dive in front of the linesman on the near side, but the officials are having absolutely none of it. I'm not one to call for a player to get a yellow card, but that was pretty lame from the Chile international...
The former Santos man curls the free kick a whisker wide, though Marino appeared to have the left side of his goal covered anyway. Barcelona's profligacy from set pieces continues!
Yellow Card Fausto Rossi
Rossi catches Neymar 20 yards from goal and Barca have a free kick in a very dangerous position early in the second half. Rossi is shown a yellow card for his troubles, for what was a fairly cynical foul.
The game is back underway at Camp Nou, with the teams unchanged...
HALF-TIME: BARCELONA 1-1 VALLADOLID The visitors stunned Camp Nou with Guerra's headed goal in the 10th minute, though the Blaugrana were not behind for long thanks to a stunning equaliser from Alexis four minutes later. Since then Barca have dominated possession without creating a bundle of clearcut chances. They will be fairly peeved not have been awarded a penalty midway through the first half though, when Pena clearly fouled Neymar inside the box as the Brazilian raced through on goal. Hats off to Valladolid, they have attacked Barcelona when given the chance, and their coach Martinez will no doubt be delighted with the half-time score.
45' + 1'
And there is the half-time whistle! It's all square at Camp Nou.
That's a shame! An intricate passing move between Cesc and Alves ends when the former Sevilla full-back handles the ball.
Xavi wastes another free kick! And again gets a disapproving look from Alves for doing so.
I've been so impressed with the way Neymar has settled into the Barcelona team since joining the club in the summer. People had doubts about whether he would gel with players like Xavi and Cesc given his fairly individual playing style but he has really integrated himself as a team player this campaign.
POSSESSION STAT: Barcelona 64%-36% Valladolid
Valladolid are doing well to narrow the pitch and make it hard for Barcelona to play their usual game. The hosts have been restricted to shots from distance for large chunks of this first half.
Alexis makes a marvellous run into the channel on the right side of the pitch and Alves threads a fine pass to the Chilean. He takes a touch to control the ball before chipping an effort towards goal that drifts just a yard or so wide.
Bergdich is shown a yellow card after catching Alves on the wing and Barcelona are awarded a decision in their favour for the first time in about 10 minutes. Neymar and Xavi take the free kick short, but soon lose the ball to a well-timed tackle from Valiente.
Yellow Card Zakarya Bergdich
A minute after the referee refused to award Barcelona a penalty when Pena tussled with Neymar in the Valladolid box, he repeats the trick. On this occasion the Barca attacker has every right to appeal as Pena clearly clipped him inside the area. But again the referee signals for play to continue.
Timely tackle from Pena! The Valladolid defender slides in to dispossess Neymar as he races into the box, and despite the Barcelona players' appeals for a penalty the referee waves play on.
Xavi and Alves deliberate who should take a free kick in a dangerous position 25 yards from goal. After a heated discussion the Brazilian full-back steps aside and lets his elder take it, but he will be wishing he hadn't having seen the end result, as Xavi's effort was nowhere near to testing Marino.
A great stop from Marino flicks Neymar's curling effort round the post to keep the score level. Barcelona are going through a couple of gears at Camp Nou as they search for a goal to put them in front.
Baraja produces a stunning tackle to dispossess Neymar as he looks to burst into the Valladolid box. The midfielder had to get that right, otherwise the Brazil international would have been clean through on goal.
A misplaced pass from Xavi. Sear it into your memory as that is a collector's item.
AUDACIOUS FROM EBERT!! The German midfielder attempts an ambitious overhead kick from 15 yards after racing on to a chipped pass from Fausto Rossi. Sadly it careers into the stands rather than nestling in the back of the net.
Tello takes an age to shoot when through on goal after a marvellous turn and pass from Neymar just inside the Valladolid half. The Spaniard should have done much better there, he took so long to set himself that Marino and Valiente were able to crowd him out as he shot.
Goal Alexis Sánchez
WHAT A GOAL FROM ALEXIS! Neymar wins the ball in the air and nods it down to Tello, who instinctively sweeps the ball to Alexis. The Chile international then succeeds where Bartra just failed, by sending an unstoppable effort past Marino from outside the area to draw Barcelona level.
BARTRA TESTS MARINO FROM DISTANCE! The young centre-back lets rip from 20 yards with his right foot, and the ball looks destined for the bottom left corner, until Marino flings out his right arm to claw it out.
STAT: Guerra's goal a moment ago is his third in as many games for Martinez's side.
Assist Patrick Ebert
Goal Javi Guerra
VALLADOLID TAKE THE LEAD!! Guerra peels off Adriano to nod the resulting corner from Ebert past Valdes and into the back of the net. The visitors have taken a surprise lead at Camp Nou, despite barely touching the ball in the opening 10 minutes!
An unorthodox kneed clearance from Bartra deflects Bergdich's cross behind, after a strong run through the middle by Patrick Ebert.
AWFUL FROM FABREGAS! The former Arsenal man skies a shot high over the bar after being teed up perfectly following a strong run by Alexis on the right. He should really have been testing Marino there!
The visitors are gifting Barcelona the ball at the moment, which is no way to start against the most possession-orientated club in world football.
Valladolid clear the set piece well, but Barca come straight back at them and only some alert defending from Valiente to put the ball over his own crossbar averts the danger when Alexis whips a decent cross into the box.
The speedy attacker hurtles towards Antonio Rukavina on the left-hand side, and the Serbian full-back does well to block his cross out for a corner.
Alexis loses the ball with a sloppy pass to Xavi, but Valladolid are unable to keep hold of the ball and immediately surrender it back to the hosts. Gerard Pique brings it out of defence for the Blaugrana before launching a long pass to Tello over on the left wing.
The first minute passes without Valladolid touching the ball. They eventually do when Javier Baraja nicks the ball from Neymar 30 yards from Diego Marino's goal.
A freshly-shorn Neymar gets the game started in Barcelona...
The teams are out at Camp Nou exchanging the usual pleasantries, which means we are just minutes away from kick-off.
Anyway, back to Camp Nou. Neymar leads the line in Messi's absence for the hosts. How do you think he will do? Will Messi's absence in some way liberate the young Brazilian? We shall see!
Elsewhere in La Liga tonight, Real Madrid have stolen three points at the death away to Levante, having won 3-2 despite trailing 2-1 after 86 minutes. Late goals from Alvaro Morata and Cristiano Ronaldo sealed the victory for Carlo Ancelotti's side.
VALLADOLID TEAM NEWS: The visitors, meanwhile, have had to deal with a host of injuries to members of their first-team squad. In midfield Lluis Sastre joins the ever-growing absentee list that includes fellow middle men Alvaro Rubio, Victor Perez, Oscar and Daniel Larsson. Valdet Rama, who had also been expected to miss this game, is deemed fit enough to be named on the bench. Javi Guerra leads the line for Juan Ignacio Martinez's side, while former Barcelona academy player Marc Valiente starts at centre-back.
BARCELONA TEAM NEWS: Martino rests Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta for this evening's match, with Alex Song and Christian Tello coming in to replace them. Neymar plays as a No.9 for the Catalan giants for the first time, with Lionel Messi ruled out because of the thigh injury he picked up in Barca's 2-0 win over Almeria last weekend.
SUBS: Jaime, Barmettler, Osorio, Rama, Garcia, Vadillo, Heinz
VALLADOLID (5-4-1): Marino; Rukavina, Valiente, Rueda, Pena, Bergdich; Ebert, Baraja, Rossi, Omar; Guerra
SUBS: Pinto, Montoya, Busquets, Dos Santos, Sergi Roberto, Iniesta, Pedro
BARCELONA (4-3-3): Valdes; Alves, Bartra, Pique, Adriano; Song, Xavi, Cesc; Tello, Neymar, Alexis
Without further ado let's have a quick peek at the two side's starting XIs before kick-off...
My name is Charlie Scott and I'll be providing colourful updates from the game in Barcelona as it unfolds.
Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to our LIVE coverage of Valladolid's trip to fortress Camp Nou in La Liga. Tata Martino's Barcelona side are looking to continue their perfect league start with an eighth consecutive win, while the away team are currently experiencing life at the other end of the spectrum, having won just once this season.
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