Mar 17, 2013 at 8pm UK at ​Camp Nou
Barcelona
3-1
Rayo Vallecano
Villa (25'), Messi (40', 57')
Manuel Pinto (90')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Tamudo (70')
Piti (18'), Trashorras (29'), Gonzalez (58'), Tito (63'), Rubén (69')

Live Commentary: Barcelona 3-1 Rayo Vallecano - as it happened

Barcelona's Lionel Messi is congratulated by team mate Thiago after scoring against Getafe on February 10, 2013
© PA Photos
Sports Mole brings you live commentary of the La Liga clash at Camp Nou as Barcelona record a 3-1 win over Rayo Vallecano.

Barcelona welcomed Rayo Vallecano to the Camp Nou on Sunday looking to extend their lead at the top of the league to 13 points.

The Catalan outfit had plenty of chances in the early stages, but had to wait until the 25th minute to take the lead with David Villa finishing from close range.

Villa then turned provider five minutes before the interval when he fed Lionel Messi, who scored for the 18th league match in a row. The Argentine was at it again just before the hour mark when he converted from close range.

Rayo had a consolation via Raul Tamudo after 71 minutes, but they could not force a late comeback as the Catalan outfit held on for the three points.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.


Sort:
Newest
Oldest
7.52pmEvening all! Our final La Liga commentary of the weekend comes from Barcelona as the Catalan outfit welcome Rayo Vallecano. If previous matches are anything to go by, then Rayo will be in for a tough task this evening. Barcelona have won each of the last three matches between the two sides, scoring 17 times and conceding zero. That’s right, scoring 17 times in three games.

7.54pmBarcelona overcame their mini-slump to book their spot in the quarter-finals of the Champions League with victory over AC Milan last week, where they will meet Paris Saint-Germain. They also remain on course for the La Liga crown, sitting 10 points clear of Real Madrid at the top of the table with a game in hand.

7.56pmRayo, however, have also been impressive this season. They have just slumped in recent weeks with three defeats from their last six, but a strong run of form since the turn of the year has moved them into contention for a European position. They have also managed four wins on the road this season, just one less than sixth-placed Malaga.

7.58pmTEAMS:

BARCELONA: Pinto; Adriano, Pique, Mascherano, Alba; Busquets, Iniesta, Fabregas; Sanchez, Villa, Messi

RAYO: Ruben; Arbilla, Jordi, Tito, Galvez; Adrian, Trashorras, Piti, Carlos; Dominguez, Delibasic


0 minHere we go then. Just a quick word on the main team news this evening. David Villa continues in attack for the home side, but Xavi drops out at the expense of Cesc Fabregas. Alexis Sanchez is also handed a start. Rayo, meanwhile, name an attacking side with Delibasic paired alongside Piti. Right, the away side get the action underway.

2 minIt really was some performance from Barcelona against Milan, but has that match taken a lot out of them? We will soon see this evening. The home side have also been buoyed by the news that Tito Vilanova will return for their next league clash. Crisis? What crisis? Everything is good again for the Catalan outfit.

4 minHalf-chance for the away side as Trashorras turns on the edge of the box before striking towards goal, but Pinto just watches it move wide of the post. It's good pressure from Rayo as they force a corner from Pique, but the resulting set piece is headed clear. The away side have certainly come here to make a game of it this evening.

6 minSlightly subdued atmosphere in the stadium this evening. It is almost as if the supporters have turned up expecting their side to win big against the capital outfit. First sign of Messi as the Argentine darts between two players before finding Iniesta, but Tito comes out to make the challenge. Good tempo in the opening six minutes of this La Liga clash.

8 minFirst half-chance of the match for the home side as Adriano collects possession outside the box before striking towards goal, but his effort was always rising over the crossbar. No Dani Alves this evening, with the Brazilian taking his place on the bench. Meanwhile, Carlos Puyol will be out for an extended period following knee surgery.

9 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for the home side as Fabregas finds Messi in the penalty area, he looked primed to tap home from close range, but lost his footing at the vital moment, with Tito on hand to make the challenge. Rayo have really got away with one there. Barcelona just starting to up the tempo.

11 minCROSSBAR! Bit of a horror challenge from Galvez as the defender fells Messi outside the penalty area. The resulting free kick is taken by the Argentine, but he can only thump his effort against the crossbar. Penalty shout down the other end as Dominguez falls over, but the referee is not interested.

13 minMessi is just struggling to stay on his feet in the last few moments as he continues to slip in the penalty area. Rayo continue to force the issue in the final third, but you worry for them when it breaks down because they leave big gaps in the opposing half. Still no goals with 13 minutes on the clock, but Barcelona are in control.

15 minHalf-chance for the away side this time as Delibasic chips an effort from outside the box, but it was always moving high of the crossbar. Barcelona advance immediately down the other end with Iniesta, but the Spaniard is stopped in his tracks by Arbilla. Barcelona have just been guilty of some sloppy passing in the last couple of moments.


17 minWonderful atmosphere in the stadium in the last couple of moments as that famous Barcelona tune erupts around the stadium. The home side continue to dominate possession, but they have just struggled for that final pass in the last few minutes. You just get the feeling that Rayo need to score first if they are to stand any chance of securing a result from this match.

19 minHalf-chance for Messi this time as Fabregas finds the Argentine with a searching pass, but Tito just does enough to allow his goalkeeper to make the clearance. Surprisingly the referee has not booked anyone yet despite a host of challenges coming in from both teams. Sanchez has been really bright for Barcelona thus far, but he keeps getting chopped down.

21 minJust as I say that the first yellow card is awarded to Piti for a late challenge on Sanchez. The resulting free kick is whipped into the penalty area by Messi, but Ruben is out to make the clearance. It falls kindly to Fabregas outside the box, but his effort is high and wide of the crossbar.

23 minWonderful football in the last couple of moments as Barcelona switch the play from left to right, eventually Messi finds Adriano in the box, but the Brazilian just takes one touch too many at the final moment. You just get the feeling that Barcelona are starting to up the tempo as Messi comes close once more with an effort from close range.

25 minTrashorras once more tries his luck from distance with a strike from all of 40 yards, but Pinto is fairly comfortable in making the save. The home side remain in control of the possession, but Rayo are certainly a threat. Meanwhile, Barcelona are forced into their first change of the match as Adriano is replaced by Dani Alves - who has died his hair blonde!

25 minAlves's first involvement is a positive one as the Brazilian drives down the right before firing a cross into the box, but Tito is across to make the clearance. Rayo have certainly been more than in this match as we approach the 30-minute mark. Can they push on and claim the opener? It could open up things nicely.

25 minGOAL! Barcelona 1-0 Rayo (Villa)

26 minBarcelona open the scoring after 25 minutes as Messi finds Villa in the penalty area, the Spaniard doesn't break stride as he thumps his effort into the top corner for his 14th league goal of the season. Stunning finish from Spain's all-time leading scorer.

28 minSuddenly Barcelona have started to open up as Messi floats a long pass towards Villa, but this time Tito is across to make the clearance. It is so important that the away side repel the threat in the next five or so minute. Another goal before the interval and it could get really nasty.

31 minIn fairness to Rayo they have not been too phased by that opening goal as they continue to play their football, but they have been restricted to long shots thus far, rather than real opportunities inside the box. Little over 15 minutes of the first period remaining and Barcelona are in control. It is difficult to see how the away side can get back into the match.

Sponsored:Nervous about the result? Want to 'Cash in your bet'? See how with William Hill.

33 minBarcelona continue to dominate the possession in the opposing half as they continue to pass and probe outside the Rayo penalty area. Iniesta attempts to force the issue with a pass towards Sanchez, but Tito is across to make the clearance. The rebound falls to Alves, but his cross is collected by the goalkeeper.

35 minSlightly sloppy from Barcelona in the last couple of moments who have taken their foot off the peddle. That is always the problem when a team is in total control of the match. There is another La Liga taking place this evening with Granada currently leading Levante 1-0. We will keep you up-to-date with all the goals there.

37 minBetter from Rayo in the last couple of moments as Piti strikes an effort from distance, but Pinto was once more collects the danger. The away side continue to put their passes together, but they are wary of committing too many players to each attack. Little under 10 minutes of the first period remaining.

40 minNot too much to report in the last couple of moments with both sides guilty of sloppy passing in the final third. Barcelona are in control of the possession, but a host of challenges has just further slowed the tempo. For the neutral, a Rayo goal is needed just to force Barcelona onto another level.

40 minGOAL! Barcelona 2-0 Rayo Vallecano (Messi)

41 minWell, that is quite possibly game over then. This time Villa is the architect as he finds Messi in the box, who thumps his effort into the back of the net. He has now scored in 18 La Liga matches in a row. Just stunning.

43 minRayo attempt to force the issue down the other end as Dominguez fires a cross into the penalty area, but Pinto is across to make the clearance. You feel for Rayo in this match, they are trying to push forward, but each time they attack they are leaving gaps in defence. They need to hold on until the interval.

45 minWhen Rayo lose, they do tend to lose heavy. They have conceded five goals against Atletico this season, six against Real, it could be a similar score this evening. The fourth official indicates that we will play an additional one minute at the end of the half.

45 min+1HALF-TIME: Barcelona 2-0 Rayo Vallecano

8.48pmSo there we have it. Just about as comfortable as you could ever imagine for Barcelona as they lead 2-0 at the interval. The opener came after 25 minutes courtesy of Villa, before Messi added a second five minutes before the interval. It could be a long second period for the capital outfit.

Sponsored:Acculmulator going well? Want to take your money now? Check out William Hill's 'CASH IN MY BET' service!

8.52pmSTATISTICS: The home side have had more of the ball, but just 54%, which is a surprise. They have had six attempts on goal, but Rayo have managed five. The difference has been in the final third this evening with Barcelona taking their only two clear chances. That is the difference at the very highest level.

8.56pmBENCH WATCH: Barcelona have already been forced into one change with Alves replacing Adriano, but they still have a host of attacking options in the shape of Cristian Tello, Pedro and Thiago. Rayo, meanwhile, have the likes of Lass and Jordi Amat in reserve. There are certainly goals in that list of players.

9pmAs it stands, Barcelona would extend their lead at the top of the table to 13 points, with Real Madrid sitting second. Rayo, meanwhile, would remain in ninth on 41 points. It is difficult to see any possible way how Rayo can turn this match around in the second period.

46 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch ahead of the second period. No changes for either side at the interval which is not too surprising at this stage of the match. Just a reminder that there is another La Liga match taking place this evening with Granada leading Levante 1-0. Right, the home side get the action underway.

48 minSlightly laboured start to the second half with Barcelona prepared to keep possession in midfield. You just get the feeling that they can raise the tempo at any given moment this evening. A goal for Rayo would certainly add some excitement to proceedings. Let's hope for an entertaining conclusion to this fixture.

50 minPiti is playing a dangerous game at the moment as he once more dives into a challenge with Sanchez, despite picking up a booking in the second period. That would make the task almost impossible for the capital outfit this evening. One thing is for certain, Rayo will not stop running in this second period. What they lack in quality, they make up for in pure effort.

52 minPOST! Alves comes close to making it three for Barcelona as he drives into the penalty area, but it clips the inside of the post before moving out for a goal kick. Stunning chance for the Brazilian defender. I would be astounded if we did not see more goals in the second period.

54 minBarcelona have certainly upped the tempo in the last few moments as they continue to pass and probe outside the penalty area. Messi turns provider as he slips a pass towards Iniesta, but Galvez is across to clear at the vital moment. End-to-end football at the moment as Rayo try their luck down the other end.

56 minCHANCE! It should be three. Glorious chance for Sanchez as the Chilean collects a pass from Messi outside the box, but somehow he fires wide of the target. Wow. Rayo come close down the other end, but Piti's effort is straight at Pinto. Explosive tempo to this match.

57 minGOAL! Barcelona 3-0 Rayo Vallecano (Messi)

Sponsored:Bet £25 and get a £25 FREE bet with William Hill. Click here to join now. T&Cs apply, new customers only

58 minGood grief. That is just stunning. Rayo get themselves in trouble at the back as Villa finds Messi, the Argentine takes on the final defender before chipping his effort over the head of Ruben. That is just about as good as it gets. Number 55 for the season.

60 minMessi scored 91 in the previous calendar year, but he is ahead of schedule in 2013. Can he break his own record? It would not surprise anyone. Little over 30 minutes of football remaining, it is almost four as Messi finds Villa, but this time the offside flag saves the away side.

62 minI think you know that your team is comfortable when the supporters start the Mexican wave. Well that is now in full flow. The home side come close to their fourth as Messi finds Iniesta in the box, but this time Ruben is able to gain control of the ball. Rayo force their way down the other end, but it is cleared for a corner.

64 minRayo make their first change of the match as Adrian is replaced by Lass. Meanwhile, the home side seem to be preparing Thiago. Not a bad sub to have at your disposal. The stadium is just electric at the moment as the home supporters continue to raise their voices. It is the perfect night for Barcelona.

66 minThe change is indeed made as Thiago replaces Iniesta. One Spanish international for another. Wonderful reception for the departing Iniesta, who has once more been sensational. The tempo has just been interrupted in the last few moments with a host of changes, but Barcelona remain in control.

69 minBarcelona continue to force the issue as Messi - who is now wearing the armband - fires a pass towards Villa, but Galvez is across to make the clearance. The crowd rises to their feet moments later as Thiago tries his luck from distance, but it was always rising over the crossbar.

70 minHalf-chance for Messi to score his third of the match as he darts into the penalty area before striking from close range, but Tito is across to make the clearance. Surprisingly, Messi has only scored one hat trick this season, which I suppose makes his goal-tally all the more remarkable. Little under 20 minutes of football remaining at the Camp Nou.

70 minRayo make their second change of the match as Delibasic is replaced by Raul Tamudo, who gets a bad reception due to his links with Espanyol. Can he make an impact on this match in the final stages?

70 minGOAL! Barcelona 3-1 Rayo (Tamudo)

71 minCan Tamudo make an impact?! Yes he can. The forward has scored with his first touch as he meets a cross from Piti before thumping his effort into the back of the net. Is the comeback on? At least their supporters have been given something to cheer.


73 minWell, that was not really in the script. Messi comes close to making it 4-1 moments later as the Argentine combines with Villa before thumping an effort towards the top corner, but Ruben is across to make the save. Will we have late drama at the Camp Nou?

75 minAnother half-chance for Messi as the Argentine darts into the penalty area, but Galvez is across to make a stunning challenge at the vital moment. The resulting corner causes problems in the penalty area, but Ruben comes through a host of bodies to make the clearance.

77 minMessi wants a penalty as he is challenged by Galvez in the penalty area, but the referee is not interested. Alves has a long-range strike moments later, but it was always moving wide of the post. Another goal for Rayo at this stage of the match would certainly make things interesting.

80 minAnother half-chance for the away side as Piti steps inside the penalty area before striking an effort towards the bottom corner, but it is deflected behind for a corner. Where has this come from? Sloppy from Barcelona in the last couple of moments, although Villa does test Ruben with an effort from close range.

82 minJust a reminder that there is another La Liga clash taking place this evening with Granada and Levante currently level at 1-1 with little under 10 minutes remaining. Rayo continue to force the issue in the latter stages of this match, but Alba is on hand to clear from a corner before Villa carries possession down the other end.

85 minBarcelona make their third and final change of the match as Alex Song replaces Fabregas. I suspect that Arsenal supporters will not take too much pleasure from that sight. Those two were key cogs in the Arsenal team a couple of seasons back. Half-chance for Thiago to add Barcelona's fourth, but his effort is deflected over the crossbar.

87 minHalf-chance for the away side once more as Piti strikes an effort from distance, but Pinto is on hand to make the save. Strong end from the capital outfit. Meanwhile, Rayo make their third and final change of the match as Dominguez is replaced by Isaac Gomez, who is making his debut.

89 minAnother half-chance for Alves as the Brazilian meets a pass from Thiago inside the box, but he fluffs his effort wide of the post. Not entirely sure what the Brazilian had on his mind there. Little over one minute of normal time remaining in the final La Liga match before the international break.

90 min+2Late free kick for the away side is taken by Galvez, but he thumps his effort high into the stands. Not the best set piece I have seen this season. Meanwhile, the fourth official indicates that we will play an additional three minutes of added time and we are indeed into the second of those.

90 min+3FULL-TIME: Barcelona 3-1 Rayo Vallecano

Sponsored:Nervous about the result? Want to 'Cash in your bet'? See how with William Hill.

9.49pmSo there we have it. Messi scores twice as Barcelona record a 3-1 win over Rayo, who finished strongly. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and be sure to join us for the upcoming international week. Until then!

New generic football image
Read Next:
Result: Rayo Vallecano 3-0 Real Betis
>
You May Like
Recomended from Sports Mole



Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1AlavesAlaves00000000
2Athletic Bilbao00000000
3Atletico MadridAtletico00000000
4Barcelona00000000
5Celta Vigo00000000
6Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo00000000
7EibarEibar00000000
8Espanyol00000000
9Getafe00000000
10GironaGirona00000000
11Las PalmasLas Palmas00000000
12Leganes00000000
13Levante00000000
14Malaga00000000
15Real Betis00000000
16Real Madrid00000000
17Real Sociedad00000000
18Sevilla00000000
19Valencia00000000
20Villarreal00000000