MX23RW : Thursday, June 24 06:40:52| >> :600:1451906:1451906:
Feb 3, 2016 at 8pm UK at Camp Nou
Suarez (7', 12', 83', 88'), Messi (29', 59', 74')
FT(HT: 3-0)

Mustafi (45')

Live Commentary: Barcelona 7-0 Valencia - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live commentary of the Copa del Rey semi-final first leg between Barcelona and Valencia at Camp Nou, which ended in a 7-0 home win.

Barcelona welcomed Valencia to Camp Nou for the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final on Wednesday night.

A double from Luis Suarez saw Barcelona take a 2-0 lead inside 12 minutes, before Lionel Messi made it three for the Catalan outfit just before the 30-minute mark.

It got worse for Valencia in the second minute of first-half stoppage time when Shkodran Mustafi was given a red card for bringing Messi to the ground inside the box, but Neymar could only hit the post from the penalty spot.

The pain was not over for Valencia, however, with Messi scoring twice more in the second period to make it five on the night, before Suarez added two late on to consign Valencia to a 7-0 defeat.

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

Evening all! Sports Mole's live Copa del Rey coverage continues from Camp Nou as Barcelona welcome Valencia for the first leg of their semi-final. Barcelona are the strong favourites to make another final, but Valencia, despite their league problems, have shown good form in this competition. It is a tough ask for Gary Neville and his side, but the former Manchester United defender was no stranger to taking on Barcelona during his playing days! We are building towards an 8pm (UK time) kickoff tonight.

In terms of the recent meetings between the two teams – Barcelona have won three of the last five matches, with Valencia winning once and the further fixture finishing level. Their last meeting at Camp Nou was a league game towards the end of last season, with Barcelona running out 2-0 winners. The points were shared in a 1-1 draw, however, when Valencia welcomed the Catalan giants to the Mestalla in December.

Valencia also have a recent Camp Nou win to their name – triumphing 3-2 during the 2013-14 season. Dani Parejo, Pablo Piatti and Paco Alcacer were all on the scoresheet during that La Liga fixture and Los Che will need a performance of a similar standard if they are to get a result tonight. In truth, they really cannot afford to get well beaten here and expect to turn it around at home next week.

Right, without further ado, let me bring you up-to-speed with the all-important team news. Who have Luis Enrique and Gary Neville placed their faith in for this semi-final? Let's have a look...


BARCA: Ter Stegen; Vidal, Pique, Mathieu, Alba; Iniesta, Busquets, Turan; Neymar, Suarez, Messi

VAL: Ryan; Barragan, Mustafi, Santos, Gaya; Danilo, Parejo, Gomes; Siqueira, Rodrigo, Cancelo

Barcelona boss Luis Enrique has decided to rest three of his key players tonight, with Dani Alves, Javier Mascherano and Claudio Bravo all left out of the squad. As a result, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Aleix Vidal and Jeremy Mathieu have all earned spots in the XI. Arda Turan is also selected ahead of Ivan Rakitic, while it is once again the 'MSN' - Messi, Suarez and Neymar - in the final third.

Neymar (C) of FC Barcelona celebrates with his teammates Luis Suarez (L) and Lionel Messi of FC Barcelonaa after scoring his team's third goal of FC Barcelonaduring the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Real Sociedad de Futbol at Camp Nou on November© Getty Images

As for Valencia, there is a debut for on-loan Atletico Madrid defender Guilherme Siqueira and it appears that the 29-year-old will operate in an attacking position down the left. The same can also be said for Joao Cancelo, who like Siqueira, is a full-back by trade, but has been selected in an attacking area on the opposite side, with Rodrigo due to lead the line. Elsewhere, there is a return for the skipper Dani Parejo and Brazilian pair Danilo and Aderlan Santos are also in the XI selected by Gary Neville.

So there we have it. The two teams are in and we are now little under 40 minutes from kickoff on this mild evening in Barcelona. With respect to both Celta Vigo and Sevilla, Valencia would have wanted to draw one of those two teams in the semi-finals of this competition. Instead it was the holders Barcelona that came out of the hat and with Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid both out, the Catalan side are the overwhelming favourites to claim another title in this famous competition.

In terms of progression to this stage of the tournament, Barcelona comfortably beat Villanovense and Espanyol, before recording a 6-2 aggregate win over last season's finalists Athletic Bilbao last time out. Valencia, meanwhile, overcame Barakaldo, before beating Granada in the round of 16. They found fellow La Liga side Las Palmas to be a tough nut to crack in the quarter-finals, but a 1-0 win away from home in the second leg saw Los Che book their spot in the final four.

It will not come as much of a surprise to learn that Barcelona are the most successful team in the Copa del Rey, having claimed the trophy on an incredible 27 occasions, including last season as part of what was a wonderful treble. Valencia, meanwhile, are the fifth-most successful team in the Copa, having won the competition on seven separate occasions, the last of which was in 2008.

Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi vies with Valencia's French midfielder Sofiane Feghouli during the Spanish league football match Valencia CF vs FC Barcelona at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia on November 30, 2014© Getty Images

While Valencia are struggling for consistency at the moment, Barcelona just cannot stop winning. The Catalan outfit moved three points clear at the top of La Liga with a 2-1 win over Atletico Madrid at the weekend – making it eight straight wins in all competitions. In fact, you have to go back to the start of October to find the last time that Barcelona were beaten (2-1 at Sevilla).

A 26-game unbeaten run has seen Enrique's side rise to the top of La Liga, win the Club World Cup, make the semi-finals of the Copa and also advance into the knockout stage of the Champions League. Repeating last season's treble is still a long way off, but would it really be that much of a surprise if they managed to achieve that feat? Who is going to stop them at the moment? They are just so good.

Indeed, looking at Barcelona's upcoming fixtures, it is difficult to see where their next defeat is coming from. They return to La Liga action against Levante at the weekend and then have their second leg of this semi-final, before facing Celta Vigo and then Sporting Gijon in the league. Another domestic match against Las Palmas then comes just before they resume Champions League action away to Arsenal on February 22. It is 26 games since they were last beaten in any competition.

Barcelona players celebrate during the game with Granada on January 9, 2016© Getty Images

As for Valencia, the experiment of Gary Neville has not quite worked thus far. The Englishman has managed to lead his side into the semi-finals of this competition, but their league form has been very poor. As it stands, Los Che are 12th in the La Liga table and a massive 19 points off the top four, making it almost impossible to achieve another Champions League finish this season.

Gary Neville has taken charge of 14 Valencia matches across three separate competitions and his record reads – won four, drawn six and lost four. They had been on a five-game unbeaten run ahead of Sunday's La Liga clash with Sporting Gijon, but a 1-0 home defeat against one of the poorer sides in the league brought a furious reaction from the supporters and placed more pressure on the manager.

Valencia do have some decent league games coming up, however, with fixtures against Real Betis, Espanyol and Granada in their next three. While Gary Neville is not believed to be in danger of losing his job as things stand, failure to pick up a win in their next three could lead to a big call being made. Los Che are also still in the Europa League and have Rapid Vienna in the round of 32.

Valencia's Britihs coach Gary Neville gestures from the sideline during the UEFA Champions League football match Valencia CF vs Olympique Lyonnais at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia on December 9, 2015.© Getty Images

PREDICTION! I am finding it difficult to look past Barcelona tonight. Valencia's lineup suggests that they have come to contain the home team and that will not produce an open and end-to-end affair. I just cannot see the visitors upsetting the apple cart - Barcelona 2-0 for me.

A reminder of the two teams for tonight...

BARCA: Ter Stegen; Vidal, Pique, Mathieu, Alba; Iniesta, Busquets, Turan; Neymar, Suarez, Messi

VAL: Ryan; Barragan, Mustafi, Santos, Gaya; Danilo, Parejo, Gomes; Siqueira, Rodrigo, Cancelo

Here we go then - both sets of players join us on the pitch for the first period. Following the completion of the pre-match handshakes, we will be ready to get this one underway tonight!

KICKOFF! Just a reminder that nothing will be decided tonight, with the second leg to come at the Mestalla next week. Valencia, however, have to stay in the tie in this match. They have to keep Barcelona honest in the second leg. Easier said than done! It is the home side that kick things off here...

... as expected, the home side have taken control of the possession in the opening couple of minutes, with Pique and Mathieu already stepping into midfield and attempting to feed Iniesta. As expected, Valencia have lined up in a 4-5-1 formation, with Rodrigo their most advanced forward.

Neymar ends up with the cameramen after being pushed off the ball by Barragan!

Neymar has been Barcelona's brightest player in the opening five minutes and the Brazilian is coming in for some tough treatment from the visitors, which is not too much of a surprise. Turan finds space down the right after a smart Iniesta pass, but his cross is collected by Mathew Ryan.

Valencia are already under severe pressure here and they are having to work very hard to stop Barcelona from picking that vital pass in the final third. One-way traffic at the moment.

GOAL! Barcelona 1-0 Valencia (Suarez)

That did not take long! Barcelona go ahead in the seventh minute of this match as Neymar plays a super pass into Suarez and the striker takes one touch before firing his effort past Ryan!

It has been a decent response form Valencia, with the visitors enjoying a spell of possession outside the Barcelona box, but their latest move breaks down and Neymar is on the counter!

CHANCE! Neymar sets up Messi and it appears that Barcelona are moving 2-0 ahead, but Santos is on hand to make a fine block. Business as usual for the Catalan outfit here.

GOAL! Barcelona 2-0 Valencia (Suarez)

Barcelona have their second of the match and it is once again Suarez who scores it. A terrific pass from Busquets lands on the boot of Vidal, who touches back to the striker and he does not miss - finding the back of the net with a cool finish. So much for Valencia containing Barcelona!

BOOKING! Iniesta (Barcelona) is booked for handball.

Valencia are doing their best to pass and probe in the final third of the field, but they just cannot keep the ball at the moment and when they lose it, Barcelona are straight back on the front foot.

Iniesta makes an intelligent run into the box and Messi attempts to find the Spaniard with what seemed an impossible pass, and it almost comes off. Luckily for Valencia, however, it does run behind for a goal kick. There have been some sensational pieces of skill from Neymar already tonight.

Mathieu has just hacked into Danilo's ankle, but the referee did not even blow for a free kick. Safe to say that it has not been the opening 20 minutes that Gary Neville would have wanted!

The Barcelona supporters are cheekily singing 'Cheryshev, we love you'. That is of course a reference to Denis Cheryshev, who saw Real Madrid kicked out of the Copa del Rey earlier this season - inadvertently of course. The Russian international is on the bench for Valencia tonight.

BOOKING! Pique (Barcelona) is booked for a late challenge on Santos.

Not an awful lot to report in terms of clear chances since Barcelona scored their second, although Suarez came close to finding Messi with a low cross moments ago. Valencia just cannot get to grips with Barcelona's movement in the final third, but they are not the first and will not be the last.

It is almost funny how good Barcelona are. Iniesta produces a wonderful flick into Neymar, who attempts to return the favour, but Barragan just does enough. Still 2-0 to the hosts here.

Valencia manage to venture into the Barcelona half through Gaya, but it does not last long and Barcelona have a goal kick. Gary Neville is not best pleased on the touchline at the moment, but it is difficult to see what his team can do to change it. The home side are just so dominant here.

GOAL! Barcelona 3-0 Valencia (Messi)

And it is three for Barcelona. The home side pretty much put this tie beyond Valencia as Messi converts from close range after a clever piece of movement from Suarez, which took away a couple of defenders. Messi was never missing after dribbling and settling inside the box.

VALENCIA SUB! Feghouli replaces Danilo for the away team.

You have to feel for Gary Neville, who looks perplexed on the touchline. He would have had a clear game-plan for this match, but Barcelona look like scoring six or seven tonight.

Valencia are just not in this match. They have been able to venture forward on a couple of occasions, but the visitors have not had a chance of note in the opening 36 minutes. Barcelona are just passing and probing in the final third and playing at exactly the pace they want to here!

Iniesta slides a super pass into Neymar and the Brazilian is away once again, but Santos just does enough to step across and clear. Little over five minutes of the first half remaining here.

Barcelona once again look for the hollywood pass and this time it is Mathieu that chips towards Alba, but it has too much weight and Valencia can grab a breather as Ryan prepares a goal-kick.

CHANCE! Just about Valencia's best chance of this first period as Parejo meets a corner from the right, but his volley is over the crossbar. Might have done better there!

Possession football from Barcelona as they continue to pass and probe in the final third. Suarez breaks free and looks to square for Neymar, but a toe from Mustafi is enough to clear this time!

CROSSBAR! Suarez races away from the Valencia defence before setting up Messi with a perfect pass, but the Argentine's effort hits the crossbar! Would have been another beautiful goal here.


RED CARD! MUSTAFI! Valencia are down to 10 men as Mustafi is sent off for bringing Messi to the ground inside the box. Messi will have the chance to make it 4-0 Barcelona...

POST! Neymar hits the post from the spot!

HALF-TIME: Barcelona 3-0 Valencia

So there we have it. The referee brings the first period to a close with Barcelona leading 10-man Valencia 3-0 in the first leg of this Copa del Rey semi-final. Neymar has just missed the chance to make it four from the spot, but Valencia are in complete and utter disarray at Camp Nou!

STATS! Barcelona have utterly dominated the possession with 71%, while they have had eight attempts - three of which were on target. Valencia, meanwhile, have not managed to hit the target with any of their three attempts. The two yellow cards in the match have both gone to Barcelona players, but Valencia are down to 10 men following Mustafi's last-man challenge on Messi.

BENCH WATCH! Barcelona are not exactly short of attacking options on the field, but Luis Enrique also has options in the shape of Munir, Rakitic and Roberto on his bench. Valencia, meanwhile, have already made one change - Feghouli for Danilo - but Cheryshev, Negredo and Mina are all available for Gary Neville, who could well look to bring on another defender at the break.


Three-headed Broadway star Neymar, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi celebrate scoring during the Copa del Rey game between Barcelona and Valencia on February 3, 2016© AFP

RESTART! Here we go then - both sets of players re-join us on the pitch for the second period. Can Valencia find a route back into this tie? It is the visitors that resume the action here...

VALENCIA SUB! Vezo has replaced Siqueira for the away team.

BARCELONA SUB! Also a change for the home team - Roberto for Iniesta.

In truth, bar an incredible turnaround, this tie is already over, which is a shame. The two teams will of course meet again at the Mestalla next week, but Valencia will need to produce something special in this second period to stand a chance ahead of the return. Barca pressure early on here.

Not an awful lot to report in terms of clear chances in the early stages of the second period, but Barcelona are very much on the front foot, as you would expect against a 10-man side.

Parejo delivers a dangerous free kick into the Barcelona box, but Mathieu rises above everyone to clear for a corner, which is also dealt with by the home side. One goal for Valencia would at least give the supporters something to cheer and give them a hint of a chance in the tie.

Turan has a go from outside the Valencia box, but his effort is straight at Ryan.

CHANCE! Pique is next to come close for the home team after meeting a corner from the left, but his header is just over the crossbar. The centre-back loves a goal!

CHANCES! Barcelona have two more chances to make it 4-0 here. First, Busquets sets up Messi, but the Argentine's low strike is blocked, before Busquets fires over himself!

Half-chance for the away side this time as Feghouli meets a near-post corner, but his header was always moving away from the goal. It has been a better game in the last few minutes, with Valencia starting to commit players in the final third of the field. Still more than 30 minutes to play here.

CLOSE! Messi just and I mean just curls wide of Ryan's post!

VALENCIA SUB! Cheryshev replaces Cancelo.

GOAL! Barcelona 4-0 Valencia (Messi)

Barcelona have their fourth of the night and Messi has his second as the Argentine collects a flick from Suarez before advancing into the box and finishing the bottom corner once again.

Valencia could well get done by six or seven here, although I suspect Barcelona will have some mercy if they manage to score another. Barcelona's second change of the match on the way...

BARCELONA SUB! Bartra replaces Pique.

Little over 25 minutes of this second leg remaining and it is difficult to imagine Valencia finding a consolation goal. To score, they need the ball and Barcelona are utterly dominating this game.

Another half-chance for the home side as Messi breaks into the Valencia box, but his low strike is straight at Ryan. Both Messi and Suarez are currently on hat-tricks in this match.

BOOKING! Feghouli (Valencia) is booked for a foul on Neymar.

SAVE! Mathieu fancies a goal here and attempts a spectacular volley from the edge of the box, which forces a smart save from Ryan. Where did that come from!

GOAL DISALLOWED! Rodrigo has the ball in the back of the net for Valencia after converting a low cross, but the Russian is flagged offside! Still 4-0 here.

BARCELONA SUB! Adriano replaces Alba.

Valencia are desperate for the final whistle, but there are still more than 15 minutes to play in this match. Barcelona just will not let up as they continue to pass and probe in the final third.

GOAL! Barcelona 5-0 Valencia (Messi, hat-trick)

Barcelona have their fifth and Messi has his third as the Argentine squeezes a low strike past Ryan at his near post. It is mistake from the goalkeeper, but Messi has a hat-trick here.

Barcelona are not showing any mercy at the moment as they continue to pass and probe in the final third of the field - looking for a sixth. Suarez will be keen to also complete his hat-trick.

BOOKING! Cheryshev (Valencia) is booked for dissent.

Just a reminder that the second leg of this tie will take place next week, although it might as well be cancelled. Valencia will not want to play it and neither will Barcelona ahead of what is a busy fixture list. Gary Neville is doing his best to raise the spirits of his players on the touchline here.

GOAL! Barcelona 6-0 Valencia (Suarez, hat-trick)

Suarez also has his hat-trick as the striker heads home a wonderful cross from Adriano. Both Messi and Suarez have scored three times and the home side lead Valencia 6-0 on the night.

BOOKING! Turan (Barcelona) is booked for a late challenge on Cheryshev.

CHANCE! Suarez sets up Neymar, who has not scored tonight, but the Brazilian's effort is deflected just wide of the post. So unselfish from Suarez there!

GOAL! Barcelona 7-0 Valencia (Suarez)

It is seven for Barcelona. Seven! Suarez has his fourth as the striker smashes one into the bottom corner after being picked out by Turan. It is humiliation for the away side here.

Two minutes of additional time to be played here.

Valencia break away and Cheryshev decides to have a go from outside the box, but his effort was always moving wide of the post. That should be that for this match.

FULL-TIME: Barcelona 7-0 Valencia

The humiliation is over for Valencia as the referee brings the second period to a close. Seven on the night for Barcelona, with Messi scoring a hat-trick and Suarez hitting four. I think it is safe to say that Barcelona will be in this season's Copa del Rey final, although the pair will meet once again in the second leg of this semi-final next week. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action. Until next time!

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Valencia's Britihs coach Gary Neville gestures from the sideline during the UEFA Champions League football match Valencia CF vs Olympique Lyonnais at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia on December 9, 2015.
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