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Deportivo La Coruña
January 8, 2011
• Estadio Municipal de Riazor, A Coruña (La Coruña)
Referee: Carlos Delgado Ferreiro
• Attendance: 32000
Deportivo La Coruña
David Villa 26'
L. Messi 52'
At that is all folks. The game is brought to a close, 4-0 the final score. A tad harsh on Deportivo who put up a good fight, and had they taken their chances tonight could have been so much different. As it is Barcelona put more distance between themselves and Real Madrid and continue their 100% away record in La Liga. Tremendous stuff.
90' + 1'
Valdes with a wonderful save at the last. Pique gifts the ball to Valeron twenty yards out allowing the veteran Spanish striker to square it to Adrian. He looks to shot after one touch but Valdes is at his feet before he strikes the ball and the gets something on the ball to deflect it wide. Clean sheet secured.
The 90 minutes are up, but we have two minutes of added time to come our way. And as we just tick into them, Messi cleverly leaves the ball as he knows he is offside allowing Keita to come from an onside position. Aranzubia was alert to the threat though and was quickly out to clear the danger.
With La Coruna claiming a freekick, one is given but for an offside against Adrian. Not long to endure now for the home side.
Messi. He controls the ball when it seems impossible to do so, and then gets his head down and drives forward searching for the fifth goal. He finds himself in La Coruna's box and fires across Aranzubia, who this time is able to get down low and parry the ball away for a corner.
I would like to be able to say that Deportivo deserve something from the game. But in all honesty they haven't played well enough, and Barcelona have snuffed them out. Adrian will be rueing that early miss.
Nothing has changed except the score line. From the first minute Barcelona have passed the ball around confidently but without being disrespectul. It has been a pleasure to watch, as the Catalan giants continue to do what they do best.
Andrés Iniesta Luján
The reward for the two goal scorers is to be taken off, Pedro receives a respectful applause as he leaves the field for Afellay. But as Iniesta trudges off every fan stands to applaud his efforts tonight. Tiago comes on to replace Andreas Iniesta.
GOAL GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!! Pedro is the man this time. Amazing once again from Barcelona. La Coruna have hardly comes to terms being 3 down and Messi is able to get onto the ball lift the ball to Pedro who delicately chips the ball over the shell-shocked Aranzubia. Number 4.
Goal Andrés Iniesta Luján
INIESTA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Amazing strike from Andreas Iniesta that one. Pique sends the ball back out to the Ballon d'or nominee and he cuts inside onto his left peg and lets fly from 19 yards and fires it low across Aranzubia into the corner.
La Coruna have had some possession in the last few minutes, working it around the Barcelona back four who are reluctant to push up further than the 18yard line. Everytime they look dangerous though they give the ball back, it is frustrating to say the least.
Puyol has just shown his ability to read the game right there. He gets into the wrong position allowing Adrian to play a ball between Puyol and Pique into the onrushing Valeron but Puyol is able to recover had stop the ball from reaching its destination. World class defending right there.
Great interception from Puyol. Perez had looked up and looked to bend the ball around the Barca captain into the path of Adrian but the white boot of Puyol just halted the attack.
Guardiola has to be proud of the defensive display tonight, Mascherano has provided great cover and both Abidal and Adriano have proven to be able to supply withd to the game.
Couple of substitutions there give us a break from Barcelona's training session. And that is exactly what it has turned into, La Coruna just do not look interested.
Whistles from the home crowd as Barcelona pass. pass. pass, and pass some more. Beautiful to watch, but must be mighty frustrating for the home fans. They eventually win the ball back, only to gift it back to Kieta and more Barcelona possession.
Iniesta shows his skill, Abidal plays the ball down the line to the Spaniard and then turns well with pace to get away from his man. He checks back and sends a screaming ball toward Villa, who is just offside Shame.
Perez does well in the middle of pitch touching the ball around Iniesta, but he then hits a horrible pass forward that Adrian has no hope of catching. Puyol calmly plays the ball back to Valdes.
What looks like a wasted pass from Mascherano turns into a chance creating ball. It is cross field and looks over hit but Adriano runs hard and manages to keep it in play, and then brings it back to whip it in with his weaker foot, winning a corner. Adriano has played well tonight, and has added some insurance down the Barcelona right. The corner comes to nothing.
Debatable advantage. Pedro looks to have won a dangerous freekick but the man in the middle plays advantage only for Barcelona to lose it. Play resumes after Pedro is seen to by the medics.
22 passes before Barcelona give the ball away. 2 passes before Deportivo do. You don't have to be a mathematician to work out the difference.
Free kick awarded to the home side, it is swung in and headed to the back post by Perez to find Dominguez in space but he shots wildly over.
Seconds later Laure is allowed a sight of goal but his shot is quickly blocked.
Half chance for Tomas, the cross from the left was right to him but he was unable to ever get the ball under control and the opportunity goes as quickly as it comes.
Justice. As moments before Messi had taken the kick quickly but was too clever for both La Coruna and the referee. He played in Kieta for a one-on-one but play was pulled back. And it was pulled back for a Messi Masterclass.
MESSI. Yup, enough room for up and over, he takes three steps and bends the ball around the wall and into the top corner of the goal, incredible strike.
Yellow Card Rubén Pérez
Messi. He is running, once again towards the goal building up pace but he is pulled down by perez who knew exactly what he doing. Interesting freekick position this one, quite far out but enough from to up and over.
Adriano with an Alves-esque forray. The young Brazilian speeds forward beating his man on the outside and managing to get a cross in toward Villa but it just doesn't have enough on it.
Cross from deep aimed toward Adrian is not that far way. Dominguez whips the ball in, shaping towards the goal but it misses the top of Adrian's head by the smallest of margins.
Villa nearly gets a chance. Pedro chips the ball onto Messi who isn't able to bring the ball under control but it made its way to Villa but Lapa was just able to get back preventing Villa from making anything of the chance.
Contrast, Barcelona keep the ball after kick-off, whilst in the first half La Coruna needlessly pumped the ball upfield.
Barcelona get us going, but not before Messi is able to have a little whisper in the ear of our man in yellow this evening. Lots of rubbing of the hands, and we are off. Lets warm things up!
Moments away from the start of the second half, hope you have taken your seats and am as eager as I am for the second forty-five.
Stoppage number two of the half. Andrea Iniesta takes a massive hit to the face courteousy of Manuel Pablo's clearence. No intent and play resumes.
Despite the stoppages the half is brought to a close. Fifteen minutes to go get some refreshment, but make sure to join me for the second half. This game is a long way from over.
Messi. That moment again. The Argentine maestro is running towards goal with the ball stuck to his feet, he approaches one defender and neatly rounds the challenge and then squeezes through the next two players who were coming in from either side. However, he was unable to avoid the last challenge. Moment of brilliance.
Assured defending from the men in White and Blue. The ball hangs high up in the air but Colotto heads it softly down, and then they do as Barcelona do. They stroke the ball around, in between the oppostion and as a result build a solid attack moving up as a unit. At the moment though they are lacking class up top.
Possession graphic has just come up, 28% plays 72%. No need to tell you who has 72% is there. Frightening stuff.
Kieta is played in behind this time, Iniesta the provider but Kieta is unable to find Villa in the middle. He does win a corner, but it is wasted by the Catalan giants.
Long range effort from La Coruna. They worked the ball well down the left hand side and Manuel Pablo was able to pull the ball back, after some confusion the ball was shifted first to Dominquez who's effort was well blocked and then Perez struck from 25 yards but Valdes let it go by comfortably enough.
DISALLOWED. It couldn't happen twice in one week! Eric Abidal thinks he has doubled Barcelona's lead after Messi had sliced open Deportivo's defence. The left-back went onto expertly finish, like a first-rate striker. As he wheeled away to celebrate he noticed the flag. The decision was marginal, and aren't you meant to give the benefit of the doubt to the striker (although, no striker was involved!)
Barcelona halt their attack as boo's reign supreme in the Riazor as Perez was injured. Stoppage in play because of it and Barcelona aren't pleased, to be fair he was rolling around on the other side of the pitch. La Coruna sportingly give the ball back and service is resumed. Barcelona attacking.
CHANCE! Abidal the hero from midweek is sent in behind La Coruna's defence thanks to Pedro's flick, the Frenchmen takes the ball on before pulling it back for Villa. Looking to add to his earlier goal tonight he can only fire straight at Lapa. Sterling defence and Deportivo are still in this game thanks to that.
Moments later Mascherano committs a professional foul with La Coruna hoping to break through Tomas.
The last couple of games if Barcelona were at fault for one thing it was that they looked vulnerable in defence. Tonight though everything is working fantastically well, this time Desmarets looks to turn but Javier Mascherano comes acorss with a sliding challenge which stops the attack developing.
Record this and make a DVD. Title it "How to play football" and you have a best-seller right there. Barcelona are finding gaps for fun, but then bring it back waiting for the unmissable chance, patient build-up, with everyone involved. Love watching this.
Adrian looks to make amends for his earlier miss but he thinks he is sent through only to be pulled back by the offside flag.
The pass from Messi is brilliant. He picks the ball up on the right touch line and then moves inside. He spots the run of Villa, which was timed to perfection, diagonally across the defence and Messi weights the ball exactly how Villa would want it. David Villa then takes a touch, taking it wide, and seems to have closed the angle but he keeps his cool and slots the ball through the advancing Aranzubia's legs and it creeps inside the near post. Pure perfection - Pass, Run, Finish.
Goal David Villa
GOALLLL!!!!! DAVID VILLA!!!! The Spanish hitman adds another to his Barcelona tally.
Adrian with another opportunity. Not as good as his first though, he was put in behind the Barcelona defence by a Saul through ball but he looked to go himself instead of sending a cross in. Chance comes to nothing in the end.
Adriano with a long range drive there. Not troubling Aranzubia however and the 'keeper gets us back under way.
Deportivo find themselves in the Barcelona half, and then somehow the last third. MASSIVE CHANCE MISSED. Adrian is left unmarked in the middle via a header from Dominguez and he doesn't realise the time he has and he isn't able to make a connection. Pique had kept him onside. Deportivo's number ten was six yards out with time to control, and he missed it - best chance of the game - come and gone.
WOAH! IN-I-ESTA. With the Ballon d'or coming up Iniesta should continue to play like that - stunning. The ball was chipped into him, but was slightly behind the Spanish playmaker, he flung out his heel flicking the ball over his head. A little less weight and he would have volleyed Barca into the lead, as it were it ran out of play via Manuel Pablo for a corner.
BARCELONA! Argh, so close. Just lacked a bit of quality at the last. They had been stroking the ball around beautifully, and when La Coruna stepped out of line Iniesta round Pedro with a scrumptious ball, in turn he looked to play in Messi but it wasn't were the lil' Argentine wanted it and he couldn't bring it into his path. Chance gone.
It is headed well clear by a dominant Pique and Barcelona attack once more through Messi. He is halted by a determined Colotto who puts the ball out for a throw in.
Deportivo win a corner off of Abidal. The big men from the back come up for it.
Lionel holds his hand up to deliver for the second time, the first the whistle hadn't come. Barcelona look to a training ground move, Messi firing the ball to the far post to an umarked Pedro but his touch lets him down and La Coruna can breath once again.
Laure is penalised for a handball, the ball more hit him than he moved his hand. But as a result Barca have a free kick on the right hand touchline. Dangerous this.
The home side are set-up with two banks of four in-front of their goal, and at the moment it is working well. Barcelona haven't really had more than a half-chance.
Barcelona counter with speed, but Lionel Messi is crowded out. Although, he nearly, nearly made it through. Had he managed it he would have been one-on-one.
Pedro is delivering some dangerous crosses. This time is a bit further back but sends a vicious low cross across the "corridor of uncertainity" but there is no-one there to attack it.
Messi. A long ball to the centre circle is plucked out the air and then as he controls it he flicks it over his head for Mascherano. The Argentine captain then returns the ball to Messi who's pass is intercepted. Tonight, I think everytime Messi does something "Messi-like" I will just state Messi. You'll know what I mean, right?
Pedro finds some space on the right hand touchline, sets himself and delivers a far post cross aiming for Keita and Messi who were both running in. Aranzubia is tested for the first time and is able to claw the ball behind for a corner, stood up well the 'keeper.
La Coruna have started well enough tonight, closing down when Barcelona look like turning it up but remaining rigid and absolute.
One look at Barcelona's bench and you question how quality of that calibre is happy to sit on the bench: Alves, Bojan, Afellay and the record breaking Xavi all occupy seats on the bench tonight.
Strong defending from Gerard Pique as La Coruna were looking to capitalise on a mistake from Barcelona's defence.
Pedro causes early problems down the right-hand side but loses out to Laure.
Go Go Go! La Coruna get us up and running, and start the game by pushing it long. Valdes as a result gets an early touch of the ball.
We are back to La Liga action tonight, both of these sides enjoyed progressing in the Copa del Rey and the two managers will hope that the winning mentality continues into the domestic league. Deportivo so far this season have defined "mediocre" - sitting in 12th place, eight points clear of relegation but six points between them and Europa League qualification. They will hope that they can kick-start their season into a meaningful existence with a victory tonight. Barcelona have been living the dream thus far, they have an 100% away record in the league; and have managed to amount 29 goals in those eights games. A win tonight will send a message to their nearest rivals, Real Madrid, and after Pep Guardiola has said "we must keep winning" there are no doubts that his side will suffer from complacency.
The teams are in.
Deportivo La Coruna: Aranzubia, Laure, Colotto, Lapa, Manuel Pablo, Tomas, Perez, Dominguez, Saul, Desmarets, Arian.
Barcelona: Valdes, Adriano, Pique, Puyol, Abidal, Mascherano, Keita, Iniesta, Pedro, Messi, Villa.
The players have made their way onto the Riazor Turf, and we await the formalities before we get under way. Deportivo sport their White and Blue, whilst Barcelona are in their infamous Red and Blue.
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