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Deportivo La Coruña
October 19, 2013
• Estadio El Sadar, Pamplona (Iruñea)
Referee: Pedro Jesús Pérez Montero
• Attendance: 16123
That's it from me, it's been a pleasure. Bye for now.
Two Barca streaks end here and now; their eight straight wins to start the season and their 64 match scoring run in la Liga. All credit and then some must go to Osasuna, who left it all out on the pitch, defending to the last man. Atletico Madrid now have a chance to go top.
90' + 4'
Osasuna hold on! Full time!
90' + 3'
Barca come forward for one last chance, but they lose the ball! Osasuna play it back up the field and that may be that!
90' + 2'
Tello flagged for handball, a bit unfortunate, but another potential Barca attack dries up. The stadium is literally rocking with glee.
90' + 1'
Yellow Card Manuel Onwu
90' + 1'
January 2012 since Barca were last shutout in the league. That 64 game run is three minutes of stoppage time away from ending.
Yellow Card Roberto Torres
After some good work from Neymar on the left, the ball is played into Fabregas at the top of the box. He takes it well on the turn and then goes down in a heap, but the referee, rightfully, waves play on.
Adriano has seen a lot of the ball, but he cannot make it work for him or his team tonight. He fires in a shot from the left that takes a double handball deflection off Neymar and Fabregas. Osasuna free kick, and another chance to milk the clock.
Barcelona a little stretched for just a second, as the visitors break. However, Osasuna are absolutely gassed here. After working so hard in defence, they simply have nothing left to make that attack work.
Yellow Card Adriano
Silva plays a searching ball forward to Onwu, and Valdes has to race outside of his box to boot the ball away from danger!
Messi with half a chance there. Fabregas lofted a decent pass over the top, and Messi tries to get it on the volley from close range, but Loties is on it.
Puyol lucky to avoid a free kick after barreling into Onwu near the corner of his own box. To the absolute fury of the home fans, play is waved on.
De las Cuevas
Always congested, always complicated for Barca around the Osasuna box. Onwu earns his team a rare respite when he goes barreling down the right flank. He's quickly crowded out, but wins a throw and buys some time. Subs coming up.
Just over 10 minutes remaining for the Catalans to find that one opening that will send them to a ninth straight league victory and continue their 100 per cent record in the league. Osasuna strapping in for the finish.
Yellow Card Marc Bertrán
The entire Osasuna back four has been spot on, but credit must go to Silva and Lolo in midfield as well. The pair have tirelessly tracked back to close down their Barcelona counterparts, even dropping into the box to fill in as auxiliary centre backs when needed.
Once again Arribas, my man of the match-elect, makes a fine play at the back to get in front of Neymar on a dangerous cross and marshal him away from the ball.
Very little space for Barca to operate at the top of the box. Messi and Neymar try to play a little one-two, but Osasuna get bodies in the way of the attempted move.
Adriano again getting a hold of the ball in a threatening position on the left flank, and tries to pick out Messi peeling towards the far post, but Arribas is there to head clear.
Punal comes on for Riera, but it's the other No. 10 that's drawing all the attention - Messi spells Xavi for the final stretch.
Poor from Montoya. Neymar had made a blistering run right through the heart of the midfield, and released the right back completely unmarked. But instead of having a go or firing in a dangerous cross, he hesitates, allowing his marker to get in front of him and intercept his eventual ball.
Adriano races onto the ball on the left hand side, and tries to surprise Andres with a first time shot towards the opposite corner, but he gets it wrong, slicing it instead across the face of goal.
More solid goalkeeping from Andres, who scampers off his line to sweep the ball away at the feet of Neymar. No surprises to see the superb Arribas marking the Brazilian as well.
CHANCE! That's the best of them, and its Fabregas again at the end of it. Xavi plays him in behind the defence with an incisive pass, but the midfielder, with his first touch, whacks it into orbit when all he had to do was pick his spot!
Messi still slogging through his warmup on the sidelines. You'd have to think that Martino will want him to have at least a half hour to do his thing.
A lovely clip from Neymar picks out Fabregas, who has the angle to shoot, but does not lift his head, looping the ball harmlessly into Andres's arms.
And as reward for their defensive work, the home side break, but Omwu's early cross is headed away by Bartra, who was covering the near post area.
You have to wonder if Osasuna can keep up this intensity for the other 34 minutes or so that remain in this game. They are pressing relentlessly, forcing the Catalans out of their comfort zone.
Messi looks primed already on the sidelines, as Barca miss a golden chance to take the lead. Fabregas picks out the overlapping run of Montoya perfectly, and the right back slides the ball across the face of goal, where Neymar just cannot get his toe in to finish at the far post!
Arribas once again with a magnificent defensive play, keeping stride with Pedro and sliding the ball away from the forward, just as he was about to pull the trigger during a one on one with Andres.
It's all too relaxed and casual from Barcelona. They seem to be lulling everyone to sleep with their metronomic passing that goes nowhere. Some Blaugrana subs are warming up on the sidelines, but no Messi among them.
Solid pressure off the ball from Osasuna, clearly refreshed to start the second half. Barca, for all their possession, have barely gotten the ball out of their own half.
We're back in action folks!
Barca have been comfortable throughout the first half as Osasuna's attacking intent has been virtually non-existent. But the Catalans have not set the world alight in front of goal, registering only one shot on target. As things stand, they still have some work to do in the second half to reach the Liga record of nine wins from their first nine games. Stay tuned.
45' + 2'
Torres gets a good shot in on the counter from the left, but Valdes reads it all the way and smothers at his near post despite a deflection! And that's it for the half!
45' + 1'
Into the first and only minute of added time, as Osasuna stream forward on one last break.
Bartra! The young defender is left completely on his own in a dangerous position in the centre of the box on a corner, and meets Xavi's cross with a thumping header, but plants it over the crossbar! That could, and perhaps should have been his second goal of the season!
Excellent defending from Arribas, who, spotting Fabregas making a run in behind, sticks with him all the way and shepherds him off the ball. The centre back has not put a single foot wrong so far.
Barca fail to build on that half-opening from Xavi's free kick. Osasuna are once again packing bodies into the box on every attack, and forcing the opposition to bide their time around the edge of the box.
Xavi whips in a fantastic free kick towards the far post, and Andres is forced to make a strong punch! The ball breaks to Neymar inside the box, but his shot is charged down by the defence, and swiftly cleared by Bertran!
You get the sense that Barca are trying to be a little to intricate in their endeavours to pry open the Osasuna back line. There's been a few eye-catching combinations, yes, but far too often, the move has broken down before or at the crucial final ball.
Barca attempt to attack at pace high up the pitch, but Fabregas simply pings a pass in with too much mustard for Pedro to bring under control. It deflects off the forward's feet, and into the waiting arms of Andres.
Pedro is steps away from breaking free of the defence towards the byeline on the right flank, but an excellent sliding challenge from Arribas halts him in his tracks, the defender covering for his fullback with distinction.
Yellow Card Cesc Fàbregas
Fabregas sees yellow for a handball. Careless from the ex-Arsenal skipper.
Osasuna are slowly growing in stature with every passing minute. Barca are finding it harder and harder to execute in the attacking third. Now the hosts need to ally their solid defensive work to some chances at the other end.
Omwu gets the ball on the left hand side and cuts in onto his right foot, but with bodies queuing up in the centre, he elects to go for goal himself. And it's a terrible effort, miles over the bar and still rising.
Neymar's movement has been threatening in the front line, and Fabregas nearly picks him out with a disguised through pass, but once again, it's too close to Andres, who grabs the ball from the feet of the Brazil international.
Word coming in that Sisi has been rushed immediately to hospital in a bid to take care of his troublesome knee. Apparently it's the opposite knee to the one that caused him to miss so much time last season that got injured today.
Iniesta has another opening to get a shot in from that position at the top of the D, but he is much farther away this time, slicing it off target.
Montoya is pushing increasingly forward, playing almost as an auxiliary winger a la Dani Alves. Adriano is doing much the same thing on the opposite flank.
Still goalless with just over 20 minutes gone, but Barca are definitely looking the stronger. They're slowly grinding down at Osasuna here, making them work harder and harder to win the ball back.
After Barca try, and fail to pick the Osasuna lock, the ball is worked to Iniesta at the top of the box, where the midfielder takes aim, but it's a daisy cutter right into the arms of Andres.
Barca definitely showing some positive signs in attack, but Osasuna, like most sides, are endeavoring to keep things congested centrally in order to stifle those deadly passing combinations that have sliced and diced many a team.
Neymar goes streaking into the box from the left flank, but his first touch to Iniesta's pass is too heavy. Bertran challenges him and he goes down, but the referee does not put his whistle to his lips. It's worth noting that the Brazilian did not appeal for it either.
A lovely passing sequence from the Catalans sees them spread the play from left to right, with Adriano nearly delivering the decisive ball on a plate for Neymar. Loties, however, is right on hand to cut out that pass.
A lovely combination between Montoya and Pedro at the edge of the box. The defender flicks the ball right into the path of Pedro, who takes a touch that he shouldn't, running into a defender before he can get shot off.
Barcelona have quickly settled into a passing rhythm, and with another long ball, they nearly carve the hosts apart again! Adriano reverses a neat long ball towards Pedro, but the forward's diagonal run does not come in time to get the ball ahead of Andres.
The game belatedly has a chance to establish itself after Sisi's misfortune. Iniesta tries to catch the defence napping with a long ball over the top, but Neymar is narrowly called offside by the official on the far side.
The stretchers are brought on to take Sisi off, and he receives a standing ovation from the home faithful. Omwu comes on in his stead.
Sisi is back on the pitch, and after his first touch, goes right back down in some agony. You have to feel for him, his game looks to be done.
Sisi hobbles off to the sidelines to receive further treatment. A good sign that he's able to get up onto his feet to trod off, and time will tell if he's able to resume play with the rest.
Bad luck for Sisi early on. He comes in enthusiastically for the ball, and plants his foot awkwardly. It looks like he's twisted his knee, and the medics have been called.
Here we go!
Good news for Barca is that captain Carles Puyol is fit again after a long time out with injury. Lionel Messi is also fit again, but not at 100 per cent, only making the bench tonight.
BARCELONA: Valdes, Montoya, Bartra, Puyol, Adriano; Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Cesc, Pedro, Neymar.
OSASUNA: Andres, Bertran, Loties, Arribas, Damia, De las Cuevas, Silva, Lolo, Sisi, Torres, Riera.
Our teams are in.
Greetings all, and welcome to live coverage of the Liga match between Osasuna and Barcelona in Pamplona! I'm Keeghann Sinanan, bringing you all the action.
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