Aug 26, 2017 at 5.15pm UK at ​Mendizorroza, Vitoria, Basque Country
Attendance: 19,356
AlavesAlaves
0-2
Barcelona

Wakaso (36'), Ely (39')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Messi (55', 66')
Umtiti (32'), Roberto (41'), Pique (45')

Live Commentary: Alaves 0-2 Barcelona - as it happened

Live Commentary: Alaves 0-2 Barcelona - as it happened
© SilverHub
Relive Sports Mole's live commentary of the La Liga clash between Alaves and Barcelona from the Estadio de Mendizorroza.

Barcelona made it two wins from two matches at the start of the new La Liga season after recording a 2-0 victory over Alaves on Saturday night.

Lionel Messi had the chance to send Barcelona ahead from the penalty spot in the latter stages of the first period, but the Argentine saw his spot kick saved by Alaves goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco.

Messi did put Barcelona ahead in the 55th minute, however, courtesy of a deflected effort off Alexis, before the attacker made it 2-0 in the 66th minute with a powerful finish.

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


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4.16pmAfternoon all! Sports Mole's live La Liga coverage continues from the Estadio de Mendizorroza as Alaves welcome Barcelona. The hosts opened their new season with a 1-0 defeat at Leganes, but Barcelona put three early points on the board with a 2-0 home win over Real Betis.

4.19pmThis match is a repeat of last season's Copa del Rey final, where Barcelona ran out 3-1 winners. The Catalan giants also recorded a thumping 6-0 victory when they travelled to this stadium last season, but Alaves pulled off one of the shocks of the season when they won 2-1 at Camp Nou in September 2016. Alaves certainly have previous against Barcelona, although they have not beaten the former Spanish champions on home soil since a 2-0 win in December 2001.

4.22pmRight, without further ado, let me bring you up-to-speed with the all-important team news. Any changes from the opening weekend of the campaign? Let's run through the two XIs here...

Ernesto Valverde head coach of Athletic Bilbao during the first leg of UEFA Champions League qualifying play-offs round match between SSC Napoli and Athletic Club on August 19, 2014© Getty Images


4.25pmTEAMS!

ALAVES: Pacheco; Pedraza, Ely, Alexis, Vigaray; Manu, Pina; Wakaso, Ibai, Romero; Sobrino

BARCA: Ter Stegen; Vidal, Umtiti, Pique, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta; Roberto, Messi, Deulofeu


4.28pmGerard Pique is back for Barcelona after missing last weekend's clash against Real Betis through injury, while there is also a start for Andres Iniesta, which sees Sergi Roberto pushed into an advanced position alongside Gerard Deulofeu and Lionel Messi. New signing Paulinho is on the bench alongside Paco Alcacer and Nelson Semedo, with Aleix Vidal handed the right-back berth.

4.32pmAs for Alaves, summer signing from Manchester City Ruben Sobrino leads the line, while Ibai Gomez and Mubarak Wakaso also start in what is an attacking team. Tomas Pina and Oscar Romero were both on the bench against Leganes last time out, but the pair come into the XI here.


4.35pmSo there we have it. The two teams are in, and we are now just about 40 minutes from kickoff on this warm late afternoon in Alava. I shall speak about the home side a little bit later, but let's start with Barcelona, who opened their new La Liga campaign with a 2-0 win at home to Real Betis last weekend.

4.38pmBarcelona entered the Betis match off the back of a 5-1 aggregate defeat to Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup, and it would be fair to say that the Catalan outfit were off-colour on Sunday night. They did enough to secure the points, however, courtesy of an own goal from Betis defender Alin Tosca and a smart finish from Sergi Roberto. In the end, all three points were secured.

4.42pm

4.45pmNeymar's world-record move to Paris Saint-Germain and an injury to Luis Suarez meant that Lionel Messi's support act in the final third came from Gerard Deulofeu and Paco Alcacer. Deulofeu ended the night with two assists in a decent performance, but Alcacer struggled to impress, and it would be fair to say that Messi cut a frustrated figure for long spells of the contest in Barcelona.

4.48pmBarcelona announced on Friday that they had agreed a deal with Borussia Dortmund for the transfer of Ousmane Dembele, however, with the Frenchman expected to undergo a medical on Monday. Once that has been passed, the former Rennes attacker will become the second-most expensive footballer of all time. Dembele, Suarez and Messi has a good ring to it - DSM? Something like that.

4.52pmIn terms of what is ahead for Barcelona, the Spanish giants will continue their league season at home to Espanyol on September 9. Next month also sees the start of the Champions League group stages, and Barcelona have been drawn into Group D alongside Juventus, Olympiacos and Sporting Lisbon.

4.55pm

4.58pmBarcelona had the best home record in the league last season, but they dropped points in six of their 19 away matches, which ultimately cost them the title. Real Madrid look a team that are ready to land another Spanish title this season, and although we are still very early in the campaign, you sense that Barcelona simply have to be winning these sort of football matches.

5.02pmAs for Alaves, the Basque club have a new manager this season after Luis Zubeldia replaced the very impressive Mauricio Pellegrino, who has moved on to Southampton. Pellegrino led Alaves to a ninth-place finish in La Liga last season – in addition to reaching the final of the Copa del Rey – and Zubeldia, 36, has some task to match the achievements of his predecessor.

5.05pmRodrigo Ely, Burgui, Antonio Sivera, Ruben Sobrino, Guillermo Maripan and Ruben Duarte are among those to have arrived at the club this summer, while Edgar Mendez, Zouhair Feddal, Kiko Femenia and Gaizka Toquero have all moved on. There is a new look about Alaves this season, and the team made a disappointing start to the new La Liga campaign after losing 1-0 at Leganes.

5.08pm

5.12pmIn terms of what is ahead for Alaves, they will return to action after the international break with a trip to Celta Vigo, before hosting Villarreal on September 17. The Basque club are the underdogs tonight, but they only lost four of their 19 home league matches last season, and as mentioned, have previous when it comes to beating Barcelona. Right, kickoff is now just around the corner here!

0 minKICKOFF! Alaves kick things off here...

1 min... both teams are in blue tonight, with Barcelona sporting their light blue kit, and Alaves dark blue. On paper, it sounds quite strange, but that is the case. Alaves have made a bright start as well, with Romero winning a free kick just outside the Barcelona box after being felled by Alba...

2 min... Barcelona clear their lines after Pique makes a strong defensive header.

4 minHalf-chance for Barcelona as Vidal breaks into a wide position before flashing a cross into the Alaves box, but Pacheco just clears under pressure from Messi. End-to-end football at the start of this match as the home side break immediately down the other end. Great atmosphere inside the ground.

6 minJust a few signs that Barcelona are warming to their task as the Catalan giants enjoy possession in the final third. The latest move ends with Deulofeu having a dig, but Pacheco makes the save.

8 minWithout sounding like a broken record, I must stress that the atmosphere inside the stadium is absolutely wonderful. Barcelona, as expected, are starting to dominate the ball, but Alaves are committing four, five players forward when they have the chance to break, which is creating an open game.

10 minSuper defending from Alexis as the Alaves centre-back just cuts out a low cross from Alba, which had threatened to find Messi in a central position just outside the box. I would be surprised if we did not see a few goals this afternoon. Barcelona's movement is very fluid early on here.

10 minComfortable save for Pacheco as the Alaves stopper drops down to keep out Messi's effort.

12 minJust a reminder that summer signing Paulinho is on the bench for Barcelona here, with Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta and Roberto all starting. The visitors have been very fluid in the opening 12 minutes as Roberto and Iniesta change positions, but Messi is very central at the moment.

13 minAgain it is decent goalkeeping from Pacheco as the stopper drops down to keep out a cross from Rakitic. There is no question that Pacheco has been the busier goalkeeper in the opening 13 minutes.

13 minGOAL DISALLOWED! Alaves have the ball in the back of the net as Sobrino turns home from close range, but the offside flag had been raised. It was just offside, good decision!

15 minPlenty happening at the moment as both teams continue to battle for control of the possession. Barcelona have a real purpose about their movement here, but Alaves are a threat on the break.

16 minAnother comfortable save from Pacheco to keep out a curling Iniesta effort.

19 minAlaves are under some serious pressure at the moment as the visitors continue to pass and probe in the final third of the field. The movement from Barcelona has been absolutely wonderful to watch.

21 minStill goalless with 21 minutes on the clock, but it has been an entertaining game of football. Alaves have had the ball in the back of the away side's net, but Sobrino's effort was flagged offside. Barcelona, meanwhile, have tested the home side's goalkeeper with a number of efforts from distance.

23 minAlaves have been untidy in possession in the last couple of minutes, which is inviting Barcelona even further forward. Messi continues to dance in a forward position, but he is being denied by a number of blue and white shirts. Alaves just need to be careful as they drop deeper and deeper here.

24 minAnother comfortable save for Pacheco as the stopper denies Messi with a poked effort.

27 minStill goalless with 27 minutes on the clock, and Alaves will be pretty pleased with their performance thus far. The home side, as expected, have been without the ball for long spells, but Barcelona are yet to carve out a real clear-cut opportunity. Still plenty of time for that to happen though!

29 minPass, pass, pass from Barcelona. Defend, defend, defend from Alaves. It is almost like a training exercise at the moment as Barcelona look to crack the defensive code. The hosts have also had the chance to break through Wakaso on a couple of occasions, but Umtiti has been strong at the back.

31 minMore of the same from Barcelona as they continue to pass and probe, but Alaves are in a defensive shape, and they are simply not moving. Still goalless with 31 minutes on the clock in Alava.

32 minSAVE! Sobrino goes through on the Barcelona goal, but Ter Stegen makes the save!

34 minReally good couple of minutes for Alaves as they put some pressure on Barcelona, who concede a free kick in a dangerous position. Garcia is currently standing over the set piece here...

34 min... Ibai's effort is straight into the wall.

36 minIt has been an uncomfortable few minutes for Barcelona as Alaves threaten with a couple of set pieces in quick succession, but Alexis just cannot rise high enough to meet a corner from Ibai.

37 minDecent save from Pacheco to keep out Deulofeu, who had released a strike from a wide angle.

37 minBOOKING! Wakaso (Alaves) is booked for a heavy challenge on Roberto.

38 minRoberto is still down after that strong challenge from Wakaso. He won the ball for me though!

38 minBARCELONA PENALTY!

39 minBOOKING! Ely (Alaves) is booked for pulling Pique to the ground inside the box!

39 minSAVE! Pacheco is across to keep out Messi's penalty. Incredible save!

41 minPacheco has had some first period for Alaves! It was a wonderful save to keep out Messi, who looked to be finding the bottom corner from the penalty spot. Still goalless in Alava.

41 minBOOKING! Roberto (Barcelona) is booked for a foul on Garcia.

43 minAlaves could do with the half-time whistle here as Barcelona continue to force the issue. The home supporters remain in wonderful voice as they continue to give their side an extra yard here.

45 minIt is attack versus defence at the moment as Alaves continue to sit deep in a bid to make it to half time without conceding. Barcelona are going to be very frustrating if they do not manage to make the breakthrough in the final stages of the first period. Messi, in particular, looks very frustrated.

45 minBOOKING! Pique (Barcelona) is booked for a deliberate handball.

45 min+1SAVE! Another save from Pacheco to keep out Deulofeu's strike.

45 min+2We are into the second of two additional minutes at the end of the first period.

45 min+3HALF-TIME: Alaves 0-0 Barcelona

6.02pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to a close with the two teams level at 0-0. Lionel Messi had the chance to send Barcelona 1-0 ahead from the penalty spot in the latter stages of the first period, but the Argentine saw his spot kick saved by Alaves goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco.

6.07pmSTATISTICS! Barcelona utterly dominated the first-half possession with 81%, while they had 10 attempts, six of which were on target. Alaves, meanwhile, hit the target with just one of their five attempts. In truth, Alaves are fortunate to be level after a half dominated by the away side here.

6.12pmBENCH WATCH! Summer signing Paulinho is on the Barcelona bench tonight, while head coach Valverde also has options in the shape of Paco Alcacer and Denis Suarez. Alaves, meanwhile, have the likes of Enzo Zidane, Burgui and Santos on their bench. We will see any changes at the break?

46 minRESTART! Barcelona resume the action here...

47 min... no changes from either side at the break, which is not too much of a surprise. However, I suspect that both managers will have alterations in mind as the second period develops here.

47 minCHANCE! Super chance for the home side as Ibai Gomez breaks into a wide position before flashing a super cross towards Garcia, but the captain just cannot make contact!

49 minYou just get the feeling that the first goal here - if there indeed is one - could be crucial. Barcelona have another half-chance through Messi, but his effort from distance curls just wide of the post.

51 minPass, pass, pass from Barcelona as they look to upset this Alaves defence, but the home side continue to keep their shape. Still a lot of football to be played, but the score is still goalless here.

53 minMessi is very deep at the moment as the Argentine looks to become involved in the match, but Alaves will be pretty pleased seeing the attacker in that position. Deulofeu has been quiet tonight aside from a couple of moments, while Vidal is not offering too much on the other side here.

54 minPacheco shuffles across his goal to keep out a free kick from Messi.

55 minI would be very surprised if there was not a goal tonight, especially as Barcelona continue to pass and probe in the final third. Alaves will surely concede chances at the second period develops here.

55 minGOAL! Alaves 0-1 Barcelona (Messi)

56 minBarcelona take the lead in the 55th minute as Messi works some space inside the Alaves box before finding the back of the net courtesy of a deflection off Alexis. Touch of fortunate there!

57 minBARCELONA SUB! Alcacer replaces Vidal for the visitors here.

60 minLittle over 30 minutes of football remaining here, and Barcelona are very much in control as they go in search of a second goal. Alaves are under serious pressure as they drop deeper and deeper.

62 minJust a reminder that Paulinho is on the bench for Barcelona tonight, and it would not be a surprise to see the summer signing appear at some point in the final 30 minutes. Alaves are still very much in this match, however, and the home side also have attacking options on their bench tonight.

65 minHalf-chance for Barcelona as Alba finds himself free at the far post, but the left-back's effort is over the crossbar. The Spaniard looks to have a problem as well as he goes down in agony!

66 minAlba is back on his feet, and it appears that the full-back will continue here.

66 minGOAL! Alaves 0-2 Barcelona (Messi)

67 minBarcelona double their lead in the 66th minute as Messi smashes home from inside the box after a terrible clearance from Alexis had bounced off Alcacer and found the Argentine!

67 minALAVES SUB! Burgui replaces Ibai for the home side.

69 minTer Stegen makes a routine save to keep out a free kick from Romero.

71 minBARCELONA SUB! Denis Suarez replaces Deulofeu for the away side.

73 minAlaves continue to commit players in the final third, but that is leaving space for Barcelona down the other end, and it would take a brave man to beat against Messi completing his hat-trick here.

75 minLittle over 15 minutes of the second period remaining, and Barcelona lead 2-0 courtesy of a second-half double from Messi. Alaves have defended well for long spells, but a couple of errors has allowed the visitors to quite probably secure all the points. It would take some collapse from here.

75 minCROSSBAR! Messi hits the crossbar with a curling effort!

78 minALAVES SUBS! Enzo and Santos replace Wakaso and Sobrino.

80 minAlaves continue to threaten on the counter-attack, with Romero the latest to cause Barcelona some problems, but Santos cannot make the most of a good position inside the away side's penalty box.

82 minDenis Suarez has a pop after Messi finds the Spaniard in a dangerous area, but Garcia makes the block, and the home side can move clear through Santos, who has been bright since coming on.

84 minPaulinho continues to warm up for Barcelona. Will the Brazilian make his debut here?

86 minLittle under five minutes of football remaining here, and Barcelona continue to threaten a third as Alaves lose their shape at the back. Alexis does not seem to know where he is at the moment!

88 minBARCELONA SUB! It is a debut for Paulinho, who replaces Iniesta.

90 min+1We are into the first of three additional minutes at the end of the 90 here.

90 min+2It is going to be two wins from two matches for Barcelona at the start of the new season.

90 min+3FULL-TIME: Alaves 0-2 Barcelona

7.05pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the second period to a close with Barcelona running out 2-0 winners at Alaves courtesy of a double from Lionel Messi. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for our live coverage once again. Until next time!

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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona1211103342934
2Valencia1293032112130
3Real Madrid127322291324
4Atletico MadridAtletico126601661024
5Sevilla127141412222
6Villarreal126331912721
7Real Sociedad125342522318
8Celta Vigo135262419517
9Leganes13526912-317
10Real Betis125252125-417
11Getafe124441914516
12GironaGirona124441417-316
13Levante123631415-115
14Espanyol12345915-613
15Athletic Bilbao123361216-412
16Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo123271523-811
17EibarEibar123271125-1411
18Malaga12219925-167
19AlavesAlaves122010620-146
20Las PalmasLas Palmas122010830-226