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Villarreal v Barcelona Live Commentary, 05/07/2020

FT
1 - 4
VIL
BAR
Gerard Moreno (14)
Pau Torres (3 og)
L. Suárez (20)
A. Griezmann (45)
Ansu Fati (86)
Estadio de la Cerámica

Commentary

Thank you for joining our coverage, we hope you enjoyed the game. Until next time, goodbye!
Villarreal face Getafe away from home next, while Barcelona host Espanyol.
There goes the full-time whistle! Torres inadvertently opened the scoring with an own-goal after three minutes, but Moreno restored parity shortly after as he thumped home from close range when Ter Stegen parried Cazorla's shot. However, Messi showed dazzling close control to set Suarez up for a fantastic, curling strike, before backheeling into Griezmann for a clever, chipped finish in an action-packed first-half. Substitute Fati put the icing on the cake with a shot through Albiol's legs that fooled Asenjo at the near post, but the goalkeeper made amends with an outstanding save to prevent the visitors from extending their lead even further. It finishes 4-1 to Barcelona!
90' + 5' FULL-TIME: VILLARREAL 1-4 BARCELONA
90' + 3' WHAT A SAVE BY ASENJO!!! Messi wins a free-kick and then takes it himself, rattling the crossbar as Asenjo dove despairingly to his right. The ball pinged back to Braithwaite, who headed towards a seemingly empty net, but Asenjo somehow got back in time to palm the ball to safety! That's a terrific save!
90' + 1' SAVE! Messi glides through the Villarreal defence, plays a one-two to get himself inside the box and cuts inside to shoot at goal, but the effort is right at Asenjo, who had come out well to close the angle!
88' Gaspar takes a frustrated shot from distance and blazes it high and wide. That certainly won't trouble Ter Stegen.
Jordi Alba
Assist
Barcelona
86' Alba saw Fati making his run and pinged the ball down the left flank into space for the youngster to chase. He timed the pass just right, as Fati was only just onside.
Ansu Fati
Goal
Barcelona
86' GOAL!! FATI MAKES IT 4-1!! This time it does count! Alba plays the ball down the line for the youngster, who reaches the edge of the box and slows up. He then cuts inside Albiol and shapes to shoot towards the far corner, but instead fires through the legs of the defender towards the near post, wrong-footing Asenjo and finding the net!
84' Nino twice receives the ball with his back to goal but he can't make it stick and bring a team-mate into play. He's visibly frustrated with himself for wasting the opportunities.
R. Araujo
Piqué
Barcelona
82' Pique departs for the closing stages of the game, with Araujo taking his place at the heart of the defence.
80' CHANCE! Alba's low ball from the left evades Albiol and Braithwaite sprints into the box to collect the pass. He tries to take a touch past Asenjo and fire into an empty net, but the keeper manages to block the effort and gather the loose ball before Fati could reach it!
78' The game is paused for the second drinks break now. The intensity of the game was starting to peter out, and the brief stoppage may help to revitalise some of the players.
76' Chukwueze wriggles his way to the edge of the box and fires a low effort at goal, but it lacks the power or placement to trouble Ter Stegen and the German holds on comfortably.
75' Barcelona are playing a 4-3-3 once again, with Vidal back in midfield and Messi on the right to accommodate Braithwaite up front.
M. Braithwaite
Sergio Busquets
Barcelona
73' Holding midfielder Busquets also goes off for a forward in Braithwaite as Barcelona reshuffle again.
Ansu Fati
A. Griezmann
Barcelona
72' Setien makes another double-switch, with Griezmann coming off for teen sensation Fati in the first change.
Fer Niño
C. Bacca
Villarreal
70' Bacca, who was introduced as an early substitute himself ion the first half, makes way for Nino in Calleja's final change of the night.
69' NO GOAL! The ball is played into Messi's feet and he has three defenders for company, but evades them with quick feet and finds Vidal, who slides it through for Roberto at the byline. It's cut back to Messi on the edge of the six-yard box, and he side-foots home! However, VAR overturn the goal for an offside call just prior to the move that led to Messi scoring.
67' SAVE! The attack carries on and Messi receives the ball with his back to goal on the edge of the box, before finding Alba in space on the left. The full-back takes one touch too many as the angle closes on him, however, and ends up firing straight at Asenjo at the near post.
66' SAVE! Rakitic is sent away down the left and he reaches the edge of the box before sweeping the ball square to Vidal, who hits it first-time and connects well, but Asenjo is down quickly to beat the low effort aside!
64' Messi goes to ground and removes his boot as he nurses what appears to be an injured toe. It does not seem to be serious enough to prevent him from carrying on for the moment, however.
62' Barcelona are now in a 4-2-3-1 shape rather than their previous 4-3-3. Roberto has dropped in to right-back, with Rakitic partnering Busquets at the base of midfield. Vidal has moved out wide to the right, with Griezmann on the left, Messi up front and Puig behind him.
I. Rakitić
Nélson Semedo
Barcelona
60' Semedo is replaced by Rakitic in the second change, prompting a Barcelona reshuffle.
Riqui Puig
L. Suárez
Barcelona
60' Suarez makes way for Puig as Setien makes his first substitutions of the evening.
58' SIDE-NETTING! Suarez is played in behind by Vidal on the right and he elects not to cut back for a team-mate, but instead feints and lets the ball run across him to the byline before firing at goal. Asenjo just gets hands to it on the stretch and turns it into the side-netting, but a goal-kick is awarded! Suarez is not at all pleased.
Manu Trigueros
Santi Cazorla
Villarreal
56' Cazorla now makes way for Trigueros in Calleja's fourth change of the game.
54' Roberto checks inside from the left but runs into traffic in the box and lays it back for Alba. The left-back swings in a cross, but it's overhit and Cazorla tries to break, but Semedo blocks him off and wins a free-kick.
52' Messi attempts another audacious piece of skill as he tries to loft a volley over the head of Asenjo, but the goalkeeper reads it and stands tall to collect.
50' Cazorla is frustrated as he dribbles through the middle of the pitch, only to run into the referee, who inadvertently tackles him! He blows his whistle and awards the hosts a free-kick as a result, however.
48' Villarreal are now playing a 4-2-3-1. Substitute Gomez has gone out wide to the left, allowing Cazorla to take up a free role behind Bacca, who is now the lone striker.
46' We're back underway for the second half!
Moi Gómez
Gerard Moreno
Villarreal
46' Surprisingly, goalscorer Moreno is the second player to be hooked, with Gomez replacing him.
Bruno
Iborra
Villarreal
46' Calleja makes a double-change at half-time, with Iborra coming off for Soriano in midfield in the first alteration.
Villarreal have been restricted to less than 30% of the ball and have been undone by some flashes of top individual quality. However, they have looked dangerous when they have been able to break quickly and test Barcelona's defence, particularly when running in behind.
There goes the half-time whistle! A thoroughly entertaining half was kicked off by Torres' unfortunate own-goal inside the opening three minutes, but Moreno levelled the scores when Ter Stegen could not hold Cazorla's stinging low drive. However, two dazzling displays of skill from Messi set up two outrageous finishes - a curling effort right into the top corner from Suarez and an audacious chip from Griezmann - to put Barcelona back in the driving seat. It's 3-1 to Barcelona at the break!
45' + 4' HALF-TIME: VILLARREAL 1-3 BARCELONA
45' + 2' Barcelona look hungry for a fourth and are ramping up the pressure, but they just can't quite force another opening.
L. Messi
Assist
Barcelona
45' That was another wonderful Barcelona goal and it featured another piece of outstanding individual skill from Messi to set it up. With two defenders for company on the edge of the box, the Blaugrana captain rolled the ball backwards for his team-mate, who produced a cheeky finish to extend the visitors' lead!
A. Griezmann
Goal
Barcelona
45' GOAL!!!! WHAT A GOAL!!! Some sharp build-up play sees Messi with the ball on the left side of the area. He plays a clever backheel to Griezmann on the edge of the box, who takes one touch before lifting an audacious effort over Asenjo and into the back of the net! Barcelona now lead 3-1!
42' SAVE! Messi nips in to get to a loose ball on the edge of the box and feeds it wide for Alba on the left. He cuts it back to Suarez in space in the centre of the area and the striker fires a low effort at goal, but Asenjo saves! The rebound comes back to Suarez, but his follow-up effort is blocked over the bar!
40' This game is beginning to get stretched and Barcelona are starting to click. Their passing combinations are getting sharper as the game goes on.
38' SAVE! Barcelona then find themselves in a three-on-one situation and the ball is worked to Vidal on the right side of the box. He takes a touch and thumps at goal, but Asenjo stands tall and beats it away!
37' SAVE! Bacca is instantly involved as he's sent away down the right channel, beating Pique for pace and stinging the palms of Ter Stegen with a fierce shot from a tight angle!
C. Bacca
Paco Alcácer
Villarreal
36' Alcacer appears to have picked up an injury and Bacca comes on to replace him up front.
34' The game resumes and Villarreal are on the front foot, with Cazorla sliding a lovely ball from deep into the path of Moreno, but his attempt to square for Alcacer is cut out and the ball is cleared away.
32' The game is briefly stopped for a belated drinks break. Barcelona's extensive spells of possession have led to a game with very few natural stoppages to this point.
30' OVER! Villarreal break effectively down the left through Moreno and it's worked to Chukwueze in space on the right. He jinks his way to the edge of the box and unleashes a fierce, dipping strike towards the top-left corner, but it's just over the crossbar!
28' Barcelona are back in cruise control and are working the ball around patiently as they seek to carve out an opening past Villarreal's two banks of four.
26' Villarreal enjoy a rare spell of possession, but Cazorla's cross from the left isn't met with any conviction in the middle and the ball is lost again.
24' Messi slides the ball behind the Villarreal defence for Suarez to pick up in the box. Asenjo comes charging out to face him up, however, and the striker has to turn back before trying to dribble through one too many defenders and losing the ball. The flag then goes up for offside anyway.
22' Messi has now been involved in a goal in each of his last eight LaLiga games against Villarreal (six goals and three assists).
L. Messi
Assist
Barcelona
20' Messi picked up the ball in a deep position, held off his marker and proceeded to dance through a sea of yellow shirts with mesmerising close control and impressive balance before sliding a perfectly-weighted pass to Suarez, who produced a sublime finish!
L. Suárez
Goal
Barcelona
20' GOAL!!! SUAREZ CURLS IN A BEAUTY!! It's a wonderful goal preceded by some individual brilliance from Messi, who couldn't be stopped through the centre and fed Suarez to his left just inside the box. The Uruguayan, with his first touch, simply curled an unstoppable effort into the top-right corner that left Asenjo with no chance! It's 2-1 to Barcelona!
Pau Torres
Yellow Card
Villarreal
17' Torres catches Suarez with a stray arm and the striker hits the deck. The young defender is shown a yellow card as a result.
16' CHANCES! Suarez gets behind the Villarreal defence in the box and fires across goal with his left foot, but Asenjo makes an excellent save to deny him! At the other end, Moreno thumps at goal from a tight angle on the left, but can only find the side-netting!
Gerard Moreno
Goal
Villarreal
14' GOAL!! MORENO FIRES VILLARREAL LEVEL!! A lovely ball from Chukwueze sends Alcacer away in behind, but he can't go all the way on his own and works it wide to the left. Cazorla arrives and fires a low ball back across goal that Ter Stegen can only parry into the path of Moreno, who fires into an empty net! It's 1-1!
11' Villarreal just can't seem to hold onto the ball on the rare occasions that they do have it, although Barcelona's hold on the game appears to be loosening a little.
9' Messi feeds the ball towards Vidal, advancing into the box from midfield on the right, but the Chilean lets it run a little too far and then slices a woeful effort well wide from a sharp angle.
7' A rash challenge from Vidal on Cazorla sees Villarreal awarded a free-kick in their half. It's a chance for some possession and respite for the hosts.
5' Barcelona continue to dominate and Griezmann has a go at getting on the scoresheet himself after linking up with Suarez, but his effort is blocked away.
Pau Torres
Own Goal
Villarreal
3' OWN GOAL!! BARCELONA HAVE AN EARLY LEAD! The visitors have had virtually all of the ball in the opening stages of the game and work a slick move down the left that sees Alba with the ball at the byline. He fires a low cross to the near post and Torres sticks a foot out to prevent the ball from reaching Griezmann, but inadvertently diverts it into his own net! It's 1-0 to Barcelona!
1' We're underway at the Estadio de la Ceramica!
However, Villarreal are winless in their last 21 LaLiga games against Barcelona (D6 L15), their worst run against the Blaugrana in the top-flight, having won their previous three meetings against them between 2007 and 2008.
Villarreal come into this game in good form, having not lost in their six games since the restart, winning five of those and keeping five clean sheets.
Barcelona boss Setien, however, makes just two changes to the side that drew 2-2 with Atletico Madrid in their last outing. Rakitic and Puig are named among the substitutes, while Griezmann and Roberto are brought in to play from the start.
Villarreal head coach Javier Calleja has made five changes to the team that beat Real Betis 2-0 last time out. Pena, Gomez, Trigueros, Ontiveros and Bacca all drop to the bench, with Gaspar, Iborra, Chukwueze, Cazorla and former Barca striker Alcacer coming into the side.
Barcelona substitutes: Jorge Cuenca, Alex Collado, Neto, Dani Morer, Martin Braithwaite, Ivan Rakitic, Ansu Fati, Ronald Araujo, Inaki Pena, Riqui Puig, Arthur, Monchu.
Barcelona XI (4-3-3): Marc-Andre ter Stegen; Nelson Semedo, Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet, Jordi Alba; Sergi Roberto, Sergio Busquets, Arturo Vidal; Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann.
Villarreal substitutes: Fernando Nino, Andres Fernandez, Bruno Soriano, Carlos Bacca, Manuel Morlanes, Javier Ontiveros, Moi Gomez, Sergio Lozano, Xavi Quintilla, Sofian Chakla, Ruben Pena, Manu Trigueros.
Villarreal XI (4-4-2): Sergio Asenjo; Mario Gaspar, Raul Albiol, Pau Torres, Alberto Moreno; Samuel Chukwueze, Andre Zambo Anguissa, Vicente Iborra, Santi Cazorla; Gerard Moreno, Paco Alcacer.
Barcelona find themselves seven points adrift of league leaders Real Madrid coming into this match and need a win over Villarreal to cut the gap back to four as Quique Setien's side seek to defend their domestic crown.
Hello and welcome to our LIVE coverage of the LaLiga fixture between Villarreal and Barcelona at the Estadio de la Ceramica.