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November 19, 2011
• Camp Nou, Barcelona
Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco
• Attendance: 80000
L. Messi 43'
David Villa 75'
Thanks for joining Goal.com for our LIVE coverage of La Liga action. From Camp Nou, it is Barcelona 4-0 Zaragoza. Stick with us for the match report and player ratings as Barca now have 28 points, the same as rivals Real Madrid. For Zaragoza, the relegation zone may be their home after this weekend, entering the day one point above the scary 18th position. I am Roger Gonzalez, and it has been a pleasure.
90' + 2'
That is it. Game over. Barcelona win 4-0 over Zaragoza. Not even close.
90' + 1'
A minute remaining.
Cuenca nearly finds the fifth goal for Barca after Messi is sent through into the box. The Argentine cut towards the front post before playing a ball in that hit ultimately fell to the youngster, who fired over the goal.
Yellow Card Daniel Alves
Cuenca picks up a yellow card for a foul. Still a nice display from the young man on the night, capped off with the assist to Villa.
Lovely little display of skill by Cuenca, who spins around a defender with class, while controlling the ball.
This victory allows Barca to tie Real Madrid at 28 points for the time being, with the capital club playing their match against Valencia at the top of the hour with a chance to regain the advantage.
Just over 10 minutes remaining in this one. Barca, again, are dominant at Camp Nou. This marks 30 goals at home in league action for Barca this term in just seven games, all in which they have recorded a clean sheet.
Goal David Villa
GOL. GOL. GOL. Villa finds the net. The sub fires home with a powerful header at the back post after a cross from Cuenca hit a defenders leg before flying into the air, where the former Valencia star made no mistake. Roberto went to close down the cross at the front post, leaving the back exposed, which Villa took advantage of.
Nearly a goal from Iniesta after a great ball from Messi into the box, but the Spaniard hits a shot that is saved by Roberto before rolling slowly by the post. Lovely save from close.
20 minutes remaining as Zaragoza are out of this one. Showing no creativity with the ball as poor passing is making everything impossible in attack.
Villa comes on for Fabregas. We shall see if the striker can score on his old club.
Just as a reminder for everyone, do not leave Goal.com after this game. The top match of the week is next between Real Madrid and Valencia from the Mestalla.
Yellow Card Rubén Micael
Not much going on in Camp Nou. Lots of space for Barca, and a goal may be coming, but it is nothing more than a passing clinic at the moment.
Yellow Card Piqué
Barcelona, as usual, look content with the ball at their feet as they look to waste time. The fans are cheering and applauding their squad, who have taken most of their chances in this one.
Barca are now in cruise control. This one is all but over.
Assist Seydou Keita
Goal Carles Puyol
GOAL BARCELONA. After Pique got his goal, Puyol wanted his, and he gets it. A lovely ball from Cesc finds the head of Keita, who with a defender on him, heads the ball to Puyol, who is alone in front of goal. The Spaniard takes a shot that is saved by Roberto, but with both on the ground, the Barca man manages to slot it home on the rebound from close.
Zaragoza nearly get one back as Micael fires from inside the box, but the ball is saved before Puyol clears.
@nhlax447 on Twitter has a little message for all the Messi v Ronaldo comparisons. "Messi scores with his right foot. Who is more complete now?"
@MartynMCGrath writes on Twitter: Good first half, beautiful goals from Pique and Messi, but also an impressive show from small Zaragoza!
What a save from Roberto, who is doing everything he can to keep his side in the game. At the top of the box, Messi played Cesc in on goal with a lovely, light pass, but the talented Spaniard was denied by the goalkeeper as his left-footed shot aiming towards the right corner was pushed out by the hand of Zaragoza man.
The second half is underway.
The second half is just minutes away.
Goals from Pique and Messi carry Barca into the break. We will be back shortly with the second half. As always, stick around after the game to view the match report and player ratings.
Send your impressions of the first half on Twitter to @RCGonzalez10
45' + 1'
The first half is over. Barcelona are up 2-0 against Zaragoza. Lovely first half for the Catalan side.
Barca are in complete control. Half time is seconds away.
Assist Cesc Fàbregas
GOAL MESSI! Barca now hold a two-goal advantage. The Argentine received a beautiful ball from Cesc inside the box, before turning and finishing with his right foot.
Nice little passing from Messi and Cesc sets up a quality chance for Alexis after a clever hit of the heel by the former Arsenal man, but the Chilean start an effort that goes to the middle of the goal, where Roberto will not be beaten.
Barca are looking to put away Zaragoza, but they have not been able to play quality through balls,aside from on the goal. The visitors are showing next to nothing with the ball, but it is hard to show much against Barcelona, especially when they control the possession for the majority of the game.
Ben Hayward, who is a must follow on Twitter, also said that it is hard to say at the moment whether Villa will be on his way out. We will have to wait and see. I am sure some Valencia fans would not mind seeing him returnto the Mestalla, but there is nothing to suggest anything will happen.
Thanks to @Obafro on Twitter for asking about David Villa, and if his days are numbered at the club. Statistically, this is his worst start to a season since his first campaign in the top flight, and he is not the player he once was, but it does look like Guardiola will keep him around at least for this season. The attacker will turn 30 in December, and it is more than safe to say that his better days are behind him. Goal.com's Spanish Football Editor, Ben Hayward (@bghayward), does think Villa's days are numbered: "Barca playing him on the left is sapping his confidence. At this rate, he could leave in the summer..."
WOW. Great saves by Roberto as the goalkeeper denies Messi and Alexis from close. The Argentine tried to double up the visitors as he sprinted on goal, but the custodian managed to block the sliding shot, then doing the same on the left when the Chilean had an open back post.
MESSI!! Nearly a goal from the Argentina, who is sent through by Cuenca, but denied by Roberto. The attacker regained possession in the box, cutting towards the front post, looking to sneak one in, but the ball hits the side of the net, on the wrong side of the post.
Yellow Card E. Juárez
Yellow Card Maurizio Lanzaro
Lanzaro is booked for a foul on Cesc. Getting a little rough out there. Free kick to Barca, and in dangerous position.
Counter by Zaragoza, but Pique does well to stick a foot in and stop Postiga.
The goal has taken Zaragoza out if it as Javier Aguirre looks more than angry on the side of the pitch. Barca are going for more, as always.
GOAL BARCELONA! It is Pique! The former Manchester United defender finishes from right in front of a goal with a simple header off the free kick after Xavi played in a perfect, curling cross. Nobody guarded the Barca big man.
Free kick to Barca on the left side. Dangerous chance here with a cross surely coming.
Puyol nearly finds the net off a corner, but his header is way off target.
Zaragoza do not look very comfortable at the moment, almost acting nervous when with the ball. Lots of space for Barca to attack as they choose to play down the wing.
Nearly an early goal for Barca as Fabregas sends in a low ball on the right that nearly finds a sliding Messi, but the Argentine fails to get there before Alexis fails to put the ball on frame.
Zaragoza are alert defensively in the opening minutes of the game, really showing awareness as to the location of the dangerous Barca attackers, shifting well to frustrate the giants.
As expected, Barcelona dominate the early possession, but nothing to show for it as of yet.
Here we go!
The match is seconds away.
The match will begin shortly. Keep all the comments coming on Twitter to @RCGonzalez10
For Javier Aguirre's side: Roberto; E. Juarez, Mateos, Lanzaro, Paredes; Ponzio, Meira; Barrera, Luis García, J. Carlos; Postiga.
No David Villa, as youngster Isaac Cuenca gets the start. Also, Lionel Messi will begin on the pitch after playing two tough games with Argentina during the international break. After long flights and South American heat, the attacker is good to go up top.
Here is the starting XI for Barcelona: Valdes; Alves, Pique, Puyol, Maxwell; Keita, Cesc, Xavi; Alexis, Messi, Cuenca.
Barca enter the contest in second place with 25 points, three behind Real Madrid, who travel to face Valencia tonight. Zaragoza are in 16th place with ten points, one above relegation. Today's telling statistic: In the current La Liga season, Barcelona have scored 26 goals at home in six contests, while not allowing a single goal.
The starting XI for each side will arrive shortly. As always, you can get involved. Send all comments, including predictions, on Twitter to @RCGonzalez10
This is the 58th trip by Zaragoza to Barcelona, and today's visitors have only won twice in the mighty stadium of the Catalans. Can they stop Pep Guardiola's men and do Real Madrid a favour tonight?
Welcome ladies and gentleman to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of La Liga action! I'm Roger Gonzalez, and I will be providing updates from the contest between Barcelona and Zaragoza from Camp Nou.
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