Bittersweet victory over Alaves

February 13, 2017

Saturday saw Barcelona visit the Basque Country to play mid-ranking Alaves at the Mendizorrotza stadium. This was going to be an interesting match for Barça. Not only were they beaten by Alaves at Camp Nou in September but they are the team Barcelona will face in the Copa del Rey final in May.

Barcelona dominated possession right from the start but finishing initially eluded them. However after the first 20 minutes or so things began to connect more for the Catalans and they started to create more chances. All the same it wasn’t until the 37th minute that Luis Suarez scored the opener off a cross by Vidal. Three minutes later Neymar made it 2-0.

Following the break Messi made it 3-0 just shy of the hour mark, effectively ending any hope the home side had of turning things around. Instead of that it was the start of an intense few minutes of goal scoring. Four minutes later Alexis Ruano deflected a shot by Messi into his own goal to make it 4-0. Two minutes later Suarez helped Rakitic to another. Finally when Neymar’s shot was stopped by the keeper it rebounded into the path of Suarez, who scored his second of the night.

The victory turned out to be bittersweet though when Aleix Vidal was brought down by a Theo Hernandez tackle five minutes from full time. He was stretchered off in tears of sheer agony. Reports are that he suffered a dislocated ankle and is likely to miss the remainder of the season.

0-1 Suárez (min 37)
0-2 Neymar (min 40)
0-3 Messi (min 59)
0-4 Alexis (min 63)
0-5 Rakitic (min 65)
0-6 Suárez (min 67)

At the end of the weekend the top of the table remains the same, with Barcelona a point behind league leaders Madrid and ahead of Sevilla by two points. Behind them Atletico Madrid and Real Sociedad both won too. However, Real Madrid have two games in hand thanks to their participation in the Club World Cup in December and a match postponed from last weekend due to bad weather.

Team P W D L F A Pts
1 Real Madrid 20 15 4 1 54 18 49
2 Barcelona 22 14 6 2 61 18 48
3 Sevilla 22 14 4 4 44 28 46
4 Atletico Madrid 22 12 6 4 39 18 42
5 Real Sociedad 22 13 2 7 36 31 41
6 Villarreal 22 9 9 4 29 15 36
7 Athletic Bilbao 22 10 5 7 28 26 35
8 Eibar 21 9 5 7 32 29 32
9 Espanyol 22 8 8 6 30 29 32
10 Celta Vigo 21 9 3 9 33 36 30
11 Las Palmas 22 7 7 8 31 33 28
12 Alaves 22 6 9 7 21 28 27
13 Real Betis 21 6 6 9 21 31 24
14 Malaga 22 5 8 9 29 36 23
15 Valencia 21 5 5 11 29 40 20
16 Deportivo La Coruna 21 4 7 10 26 34 19
17 Leganes 22 4 6 12 15 37 18
18 Sporting Gijon 22 4 4 14 24 43 16
19 Granada 21 2 7 12 17 44 13
20 Osasuna 22 1 7 14 24 49 10

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