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Barcelona v Real Valladolid Live Commentary, 28/08/2022

4 - 0
R. Lewandowski (24)
Pedri (43)
R. Lewandowski (65)
Sergi Roberto (90+2)
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That's all from Camp Nou today, so thank you for joining us and goodbye!
After another impressive victory today, Barcelona face a serious test of their credentials as title challengers when they travel to Sevilla next weekend, shortly before kicking off their Champions League campaign at home to Czech champions Viktoria Plzen. Relieved that their tough start to the fixture list is now at an end, Valladolid host Almeria next time out.
An utterly dominant display earns Barcelona their second straight four-goal haul, as they put on a swaggering show at Camp Nou. With their fluent front three firing on all cylinders, and enjoying plenty of support from behind, the Blaugrana scored twice in each half and were rarely troubled defensively. Valladolid, meanwhile, found themselves restricted to a background role, in which they mostly chased the shadows of Dembele, Raphinha, et al.
Sergi Roberto
90' + 2' 4-0! Despite a magnificent close-range save by Masip, who tips a goalbound shot from hat-trick seeker Lewandowski onto the bar, the ball bounces out into the path of Sergi Roberto, who calmly guides it home from 10 yards! That caps a great game for the home side.
90' Amid a slow wind-down towards the final whistle, Fati decides to take matters into his own hands and dance down the left touchline towards goal. The ball eventually breaks to De Jong in the box, but he can't force a clean shot at goal.
87' Valladolid coach Pacheta's long winless run against Barca is set to continue today: not only will he have lost both of his games as a manager against them in La Liga, as a player he never beat the Blaugrana either (P12 D6 L6).
85' Following in the footsteps of Dembele, the man he replaced, Ferran drifts in from the right and unleashes a shot towards goal from the brink of the box. However, his sliced effort spirals way over the crossbar.
84' After a brief moment of concern, as Pedri goes down grasping his foot, the young midfielder is back into the action. Xavi will not want to lose any of his first-choice players now, right at the end of a comprehensive performance.
Ferran Torres
O. Dembélé
82' Following a brilliant demonstration of wing play, Dembele is withdrawn; Ferran comes on in his place.
Kike Pérez
Yellow Card
Real Valladolid
79' A clip on the heels of Fati earns Kike a place in the referee's notebook: he is the latest player booked.
Javier Sánchez
Yellow Card
Real Valladolid
78' Sanchez is shown a yellow card for a late challenge on Lewandowski, which sends the Polish striker flying.
F. Kessie
Sergio Busquets
76' Busquets has earned a break, and the Barcelona captain is replaced by Kessie in midfield.
Roberto Arroyo
A. Tuhami
Real Valladolid
76' Following the drinks break, Anuar makes way for Arroyo.
75' Another cooling break pauses the action, but coaching from the touchline is somewhat less intense this time, with the game effectively decided.
73' Dembele is disappointed to find the side-netting with a driven attempt from the right side of the box, and he lifts his shirt to his head. After playing such a significant role today, he'd have loved to cap it off with a goal.
71' Barca have dropped off significantly, and now the visitors dictate play for the very first time: Anuar gets through on goal but fires his effort well over the crossbar.
68' CLOSE! Twice, Valladolid nearly break through, as Plano forces Ter Stegen into a diving save, then Mesa finds his shot blocked on the line by Kounde! That's the closest they've come today.
66' Barcelona have won each of their last eight La Liga home games against Valladolid, averaging more than three goals per game during that run. They've managed to keep up with that rate today, following Lewandowski's second strike.
O. Dembélé
65' Dembele's contribution to today's game grows further, as the winger glides inside from the right and plays in Lewandowski, who plunders Barca's third.
R. Lewandowski
65' BARCA HAVE A THIRD! A typical touch of class from arch-predator Lewandowski seals the points for Barcelona, as he recieves the ball from Dembele and slots a backheel through the defender's legs and past Masip, into the bottom-left corner! What a finish to a swift move - that's 3-0 to the Blaugrana, and game over!
Toni Villa
Iván Sánchez
Real Valladolid
61' Valladolid make a further switch, which sees Sanchez taken off and Villa thrown on.
Sergio León
Sergi Guardiola
Real Valladolid
61' Another blank against Barca - now his seventh - sees Guardiola depart, as Leon comes on.
Ansu Fati
61' Following a bravura performance, Raphinha is spared the final half-hour; Fati will be his replacement.
F. de Jong
61' Gavi gives way for De Jong in central midfield.
Sergi Roberto
R. Araujo
61' Xavi makes a triple change. First, Araujo makes way for Sergi Roberto.
58' Gavi thumps a powerful shot from the right side of the area straight at Escudero, and the ball rebounds away to safety. The touchline has grown cluttered with substitutes - it looks as though changes are afoot for both sides.
56' Valladolid continue to chase shadows in and around their own area, but they have held firm since the half-time break and are clearly determined not to meekly surrender.
54' In addition to their ever-increasing total of 14 corners to this point, Barcelona have had a 65 per cent share of the ball. However, they have managed just four shots on target - scoring with half.
52' Another Barca corner - their 13th so far - comes to nothing, after Lewandowski has a shot blocked. Then, Garcia sees an effort smothered by the opposition defence from just inside the area.
50' A clear grasp of the shirt by Escudero on Gavi gifts Barcelona free-kick in a dangerous area; on the right, 30 yards out. The set-piece is then deflected behind for a corner, from which Dembele wastes a chance to shoot - firing well wide.
48' Raphinha puts Escudero on his backside with a sharp turn inside the box, and then earns yet another Barcelona corner. Valladolid defend it well, though, and ultimately get the ball clear.
Roque Mesa
Álvaro Aguado
Real Valladolid
46' Mesa also comes on; replacing Aguado and providing an experienced head in the centre of the park.
46' We are back under way at Camp Nou, and the visitors have made some half-time changes.
Óscar Plano
Real Valladolid
46' Having been booked in the first half, Monchu is replaced by Plano in the Valladolid midfield.
On his debut, Kounde has been able to concentrate on supporting Barca's attacking efforts by bombing down the right flank, and already seems a great fit for the Xavi revolution. The France international's versatility could prove very useful in more challenging games ahead - including against his former employers next week.
As just reward for dominating both possession and territory - and creating numerous chances with some slick passages of play - Barcelona have a two-goal lead at the interval. Their wingers have been unstoppable at times, with the Valladolid defence clearly terrified of the pace and guile of Dembele and Raphinha, and the hosts have faced little threat at the other end. There surely can only be one outcome at the final whistle, with the away side perhaps focusing on keeping the score down after the break rather than getting back into the match.
45' + 3' With a last-gasp intervention inside his own six-yard box, Garcia heads the ball narrowly wide of Ter Stegen's left-hand post and just avoids an own goal. That'll be a corner for the visitors.
45' + 2' In the second minute of four indicated for stoppages, Valladolid are pushing forward and looking to reduce their deficit before the break; Barcelona drop back.
R. Araujo
Yellow Card
45' Yellow Card Ronald Federico Araújo da Silva
O. Dembélé
43' Dembele dropped his shoulder to create a yard of space, before perceptively passing across the area to pick out the unmarked Pedri.
43' PEDRI STRIKES! After some slick work from Dembele on the right, which ends with a tidy pass across the box, Pedri steps forth to sweep the ball home for Barca's second goal. Masip has no chance, as the young midfield maestro crashes the ball into the bottom corner from 10 yards out!
42' A little fortunately, Gavi avoids a caution for a late challenge on Escudero, and Valladolid are awarded a free-kick just outside their box.
41' After receiving a check-over by the medics, both players are fit enough to continue, and the game goes on.
39' A clash of heads between Sanchez and Joaquin, just outside the Valladolid box, sends both straight to the turf. Medical attention will be required, so the referee calls a halt to proceedings.
37' A typically incisive run from out to in by Dembele slices the visiting defence apart, and after taking a couple of touches to steady himself, the French forward strikes a low shot into the gloves of Masip, who is well placed in the centre of his goal.
34' Valladolid are totally penned in to their defensive third, and only a foul by Kounde on Escudero releases the pressure by presenting them with a free-kick.
32' The action resumes following the drinks break, and Barca are straight back on the front foot.
30' The game is brought to a temporary halt as the referee calls a cooling break, amid sweltering temperatures in Catalonia. As ever, both coaches use the opportunity to hold a brief team-talk, as the players take on some liquids.
28' With his brace against Real Sociedad, 34-year-old Lewandowski became the oldest Barcelona player to score twice in the same La Liga match since the turn of the century - now, with another goal today, he could improve that record.
26' After Lewandowski returns the favour and plays him in, Raphinha cuts inside and unleashes a right-footed shot from the right side of the area. However, his effort misses to the left.
24' For the umpteenth time, Raphinha creates a chance by slinging in a left-footed cross from the right; on this occasion finding Lewandowski at the far post.
R. Lewandowski
24' BARCA BREAK THROUGH! The Blaugrana lead 1-0, as yet another inswinging cross from the irrepressible Raphinha slices the Valladolid defence open and picks out Lewandowski at the back post. The veteran striker does what he does best and guides the ball into the back of the net from a yard out! It had been coming for quite a while, but there's the opener!
22' OFF THE BAR! Lewandowski effortlessly sidesteps three defenders to open up some space 20 yards from goal, before slotting the ball into the path of Dembele; stationed on the left corner of the box. The winger then slams his shot off the crossbar, and the ball glances over the top!
20' SAVE! Masip makes a sharp stop at his near post, as Raphinha fires in a low effort from close range on the right. That'll be another corner for the hosts - their eighth already.
18' Though Dembele finds plenty of room on the left side of the box, his cross is blocked behind for a corner by Kike, then Lewandowski has a shot charged down: Barcelona are really turning the screw here.
16' Gavi picks up some space on the right side of the area, drops his shoulder and attempts a shot from 10 yards, but his effort is blocked at close range.
14' On the counter, Monchu attempts a through ball into the box, but Guardiola is caught offside and concedes a free-kick.
12' OFF THE POST! Shortly after excellent footwork gets Balde to the left byline, the ball is recycled from the right by Raphinha and Lewandowski stretches every sinew to reach a header that crashes against the post! Then, a touch from Masip almost knocks the ball over the line, but it ultimately rolls across the line and away to relative safety!
11' For climbing on Kounde at the back post, Sanchez finds himself penalised and Valladolid's set-piece opportunity comes to nothing.
10' The hosts' fourth corner is headed away at the near post, and Sanchez gets the ball clear. Then, on the break, Dembele is forced to track back and concede a corner at the other end, with Ter Stegen otherwise left exposed.
8' Barca continue to push forward and have taken the early initiative in this match; trying to keep a high tempo inside the visitors' half.
6' A long ball into the area from a free-kick near the centre spot is nodded tamely into Ter Stegen's gloves by Guardiola, who had found some space on the right.
4' Following another corner, Pedri takes a chance as the ball breaks to him outside the box, but his effort at goal sails well off target and Valladolid have a goal-kick.
2' Raphinha bursts into the box at full tilt, but is denied the chance to cut the ball back from the byline by Aguado. From the corner, Kounde steers a shot wide from inside the box.
1' We are under way in Barcelona!
The players are out on the pitch at Camp Nou, with the Barcelona anthem being belted out at full blast, and kick-off is now just moments away!
Valladolid are without Jawad El Yamiq today, as a result of his red card against Sevilla last time out, so Fernandez deputises in central defence; Shon Weissman and Gonzalo Plata remain out of action through injury. In their absence, Guardiola leads the line up front, having once represented Barcelona for less than a day back in 2015. Masip also returns to Camp Nou, as the visitors' captain covers for injured goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo.
Having finally managed to register recent signing Kounde for La Liga action, the Frenchman makes his debut at the heart of Barcelona's back four, with Andreas Christensen ruled out through illness. Xavi has also altered the side that started against Real Sociedad by bringing Raphinha into the XI, while captain Busquets also features from the first whistle - returning from suspension to anchor the hosts' midfield.
SUBS: Alvaro Aceves, Oscar Plano, Lucas Olaza, Sekou Gassama, David Torres, Roque Mesa, Roberto Arroyo, Ivan Fresneda, Sergio Leon, Toni Villa.
REAL VALLADOLID (4-3-3): Jordi Masip; Luis Perez, Joaquin Fernandez, Javi Sanchez, Sergio Escudero; Alvaro Aguado, Monchu, Kike Perez; Ivan Sanchez, Sergi Guardiola, Anuar Mohamed.
SUBS: Arnau Tenas, Inaki Pena, Ferran Torres, Gerard Pique, Miralem Pjanic, Jordi Alba, Ansu Fati, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Sergi Roberto, Memphis Depay, Franck Kessie, Frenkie de Jong.
BARCELONA (4-3-3): Marc-Andre ter Stegen; Ronald Araujo, Eric Garcia, Jules Kounde, Alejandro Balde; Sergio Busquets, Pedri, Gavi; Ousmane Dembele, Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha.
Not only have Real Valladolid lost each of their last six La Liga meetings with today's hosts - including a 1-0 defeat when the teams last met at Camp Nou in April 2021 - but they have also suffered a sluggish start to the new season. The Albivioletas returned to the top flight at the first time of asking by finishing second in the Segunda Division last term, but have begun their comeback campaign by taking just a point from two tough fixtures against Villarreal and Sevilla.
Seeking successive wins in La Liga, after posting a 4-1 victory over Real Sociedad last weekend, Barcelona have started the new season with four points from a possible six. This year, Xavi's men are aiming to live up to the acres of coverage generated by their recent transfer spree and regain the title, having finished 13 points adrift of champions Real Madrid last season. In their most recent run-out, the Blaugrana welcomed Manchester City to Catalonia for a friendly on Wednesday, which ended in a 3-3 draw.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of today's La Liga clash between Barcelona and Real Valladolid from Camp Nou!