Messi stars in Eibar rout

Eibar had no answer to the brilliance of Lionel Messi as he scored four times in Barcelona's 6-1 win at the Camp Nou on Tuesday.

  • Barcelona 6 Eibar 1
  • Messi opens scoring from the spot
  • Paulinho doubles Barca's lead
  • Suarez on target, Enrich replies
  • Messi bags second-half hat-trick

Match Summary

The Argentine magician got proceedings underway with a 20th-minute penalty before Paulinho's header put Barca two goals up at the break. Denis Suarez quickly extended their lead after the restart before Sergi Enrich pulled one back for the visitors moments later.

But Messi turned on the style as he bagged another three goals during the course of the second half to seal a comprehensive victory.

Full Report

Ernesto Valverde's side got off to a laboured start in front of their home fans, and Los Armeros almost caught them napping in the fourth minute with a through-ball from Junca that released Sergi Enrich, whose shot from inside the area was smartly saved by Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

The visitors threatened again on 10 minutes when Takashi Inui was picked out in space on the left by a fine cross-field pass from Paulo Oliveira, but the Japanese midfielder was denied by Ter Stegen at his near post from a tight angle.

The hosts had struggled to get into their stride, but they were handed a golden opportunity to take the lead when Nelson Semedo went down under a challenge from Alejandro Galvez inside the area to earn his team a penalty, which was coolly converted by Messi.

The Basque outfit looked to respond and they won a free-kick in a promising position on the left in the 25th minute, but Oliveira couldn't generate enough power on his header to trouble Ter Stegen.

Marko Dmitrovic was then called into action soon after at the other end as the Blaugrana broke forward, with the keeper clutching onto Messi's 20-yard curler, before Enrich directed a header wide at the near post from Gonzalo Escalante's cross on the right in the 30th minute.

Dmitrovic did well to keep out Messi at his right post on 37 minutes after the forward advanced into the area from the right, but there was nothing the Serbian keeper could do to prevent Paulinho from doubling Barca's lead moments as the Brazilian powered home a header from Suarez's corner.

Messi looked in the mood and he was denied a second goal on 53 minutes by another good save from Dmitrovic, but Suarez reacted quickest at the back post to fire in on the rebound.

Enrich would not be denied, however, and he reduced the deficit four minutes later as he nipped in behind the defence to tuck home Janca's  exquisite cross from the left.

This only seemed to egg Messi on as he restored the Catalans' three-goal cushion with a clinical finish from the edge of the box in the 59th minute. 

Ter Stegen had to be alert soon afterwards to deny Inui from an angle on the left, with the German keeper sticking out a glove to keep the ball out, and Messi capped off a sweeping counter as he latched onto Paulinho's through-ball and held off three defenders before slotting past Dmitrovic.

Lucas Digne forced Dmitrovic into another sharp save after being played in on the left by Gerard Pique in the 71st minute, while Ruben Pena was unfortunate to see his angled drive strike the left post and rebound back across the face of goal four minutes from time.

Messi would have the final say, however, as he surged into the box from the right channel and swapped passes with Alexi Vidal before guiding the ball into the far corner of the net from six yards out in the 87th minute.

Carvajal keen on Madrid captaincy

Real Madrid defender Dani Carvajal sees himsellf as a future captain of the side, and plans to remain at the club for a long time.

The Spain international full-back has over 100 La Liga appearances for Los Blancos since returning to his boyhood club from a season at Bayer Leverkusen in 2012/13, and he never wants to leave again.

"Everyone dreams about being Real Madrid captain one day,” Carvajal said after signing a new five-year deal with the club.

"For now, Sergio Ramos is our captain and we’re all extremely happy with him but of course I’d like to be captain of the club one day although if the day ever arrives, it will be a long time from now!

"I would like that the day that I leave, everyone knows that I have given everything for this club and that they are proud.

"I’m completely certain I want to always be here, I will never bother listening to offers from anywhere else as I’m focused on giving my all to this club and they are rewarding me."

Regarding the release clause in his deal, Carvajal said "I don’t know what the figure is, but it will be more than anybody can afford."

Herrera: Man Utd not far off Real Madrid

Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera believes his side are not far off Real Madrid, who continue to be linked with goalkeeper David De Gea.

Last season’s Europa League champions have made a bright start in the Premier League, and the Spain international believes they are reaching the level of Los Blancos.

"David is really happy at the moment because we are fighting for everything," Herrera said.

"Real Madrid are going to talk about him every summer because he is the best keeper in the world. But we don't think we are far from Real Madrid.

"I respect all the keepers like Manuel Neuer, Gianluigi Buffon and Marc-Andre ter Stegen.But David right now is the number one in the world."

United will get to test themselves against some of Europe’s top teams, perhaps even Madrid, in this season’s Champions League, but first they must prepare for a League Cup clash with Burton Albion on Wednesday.

Carvajal given 'dream' extension at Real

Dani Carvajal has experienced 'another great day in his life' at being handed a new five-year contract by Spanish and European champions Real Madrid.

The 25-year-old right-back is seen as a key figure at the Santiago Bernabeu, despite struggling with injuries over the past two seasons.

Carvajal was limited to 41 appearances in all competitions for Zinedine Zidane's side last season, but he managed to start the UEFA Champions League final against Juventus as Los Blancos became the first club to successfully defend their title.

The Spain international is now looking forward to a long, trophy-laden stay in Madrid after committing his future to the club until 2022, with the deal containing a mammoth €350 million buyout clause.

"This club is such a big part of my life so this is fulfilling a dream for me. I'm very grateful to the club," Carvajal said at a press conference on Monday.

"It is another great day in my life, to extend my contract with the club I love, the club that is my family. I want to win everything here.

"The release clause is also so high so that nobody can take me away from here and I don't want to leave."

The Real youth product returned to the Spanish capital in 2013 after a one-year stint in Germany with Bayer Leverkusen, and he harbours ambitions of succeeding Sergio Ramos as first-team captain.

"I would be lying if I said to you that I have never imagined myself as the captain here," he admitted.

"But if that comes, it will be a long time into the future. Our captain is Sergio Ramos and he does it wonderfully. Some day, I would like to do it, though."

Barcelona v Eibar

Barcelona will fancy their chances of continuing their unbeaten start to the season when the take on Eibar at Camp Nou on Tuesday.

Barca have won four out of four in La Liga, most recently beating Getafe 2-1, having swept derby rivals Espanyol aside 5-0 the previous weekend. Their trip to Getafe saw Barca concede their first goal of the season, but they might argue that they were tired from their Champions League escapades: a very impressive 3-0 win over Juventus.

Eibar, meanwhile, returned to winning ways with a 1-0 success over Leganes last weekend, but were beaten by Athletic Bilbao and Sevilla in recent weeks, the latter vanquishing them 3-0. They will have to be careful against Barca, who beat them home and away last season, scoring four on both occasions.

In team news, Barcelona will be without Ousmane Dembele after their new signing went off injured in their win over Getafe. Also sidelined are Arda Turan and Rafinha. For Eibar, Ivan Ramis, Fran Rico, Ivi Peralta, and Yoel are expected to miss out.

Bale expected whistles from Madrid fans

Gareth Bale said he was not surprised by jeers from Real Madrid fans, as he found the net in Sunday’s 3-1 win over Real Sociedad.

The Welsh winger scored the final goal in San Sebastian, outpacing Kevin Rodriguez and chipping the goalkeeper. Borja Mayoral had opened the scoring early on before Portuguese left-back Rodriguez scored twice, for either side, within the space of eight minutes.

"It's nice to score," Bale said. "But the most important thing is the three points for the team, especially at a time when we needed the win."

Bale's goal was his first of the Liga season, and seems to have lost the confidence of the fans, who whistled at him from the stands of Estadio Municipal de Anoeta.

"It's nice to score," Bale said. "But the most important thing is the three points for the team, especially at a time when we needed the win."

Bale's goal was his first of the Liga season, and seems to have lost the confidence of the fans, who whistled at him from the stands of Estadio Municipal de Anoeta.

"It is normal, it happens in football," he told Movistar Partidazo. "I just keep my head down and keep working hard.

"That is all I can do, I cannot control what goes on, just my own game. You have ups and downs in your career, it is about how you bounce back."

Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas added that Bale "showed his quality" against the Txuri-urdinak, a win after back-to-back draws that takes Los Blancos fourth in the standings, four points behind leaders Barcelona.

"He's an excellent player and he always helps us," Navas said. "Despite what people may say, he always works hard and puts a shift in and today he got his reward.

"Nobody likes to hear people speaking negatively about anyone, but he's a professional, and he has confidence in his ability and knows the team is behind him."

Depleted Los Blancos see off La Real

Real Madrid returned to winning ways in La Liga as they beat Real Sociedad 3-1 at Anoeta on Sunday to maintain their unbeaten start to the new season.

  • Real Sociedad 1 Real Madrid 3
  • Mayoral gives visitors an early lead
  • Rodrigues equalises then hits the bar
  • Real lead again through Rodrigues OG
  • Bale seals win in second half

Match Summary

The defending champions had dropped points in their last two league outings, however, and were looking to stay within touching distance of early pace-setters Barcelona.

Los Blancos were without key trio Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcelo and Karim Benzema, but they got off to a positive start when Borja Mayoral opened the scoring on 19 minutes, before being pegged back by Kevin Rodrigues' equaliser soon afterwards.

The Portuguese left-back then put past his own keeper with half-time approaching to restore the visitors' lead, and Gareth Bale sealed the win just after the hour mark.

Full Report

Eusebio's side were flying high after winning their opening three games and they created the first real chance on 18 minutes when Adnan Januzaj showed good control to set up Willian Jose, whose first-time shot from 19 yards out flew straight at Keylor Navas.

But they fell behind a minute later as Borja Mayoral reacted quickest to fire home from eight yards out after Sergio Ramos controlled Casemiro's clipped cross into the area and looked to pull off another overhead-kick.

The hosts responded quickly, though, and were back in the contest on 28 minutes when Alvaro Odriozola got away down the right and sent in a deep cross that was met by Rodrigues on the volley, which squirmed through the grasp of Navas, who will be disappointed with that effort.

Geronimo Rulli had to be alert to deny Casemiro from six yards out on 34 minutes after the midfielder headed Marco Asensio's cross into the ground, while moments later Rodrigues almost reproduced his earlier feat by connecting with Odriozola's cross from the right, but his downward volley spun off the turf to clip the top of the crossbar.

The action quickly swung to the other end with a breakaway from Mayoral, who showed good agility to beat two opponents before surging into the area from the right and cutting the ball back for Rodrigues to inadvertently divert into his own net on the slide.

Luka Modric tested Rulli with a dipping shot from just outside the area on the left that the keeper parried away to safety at the right post on 44 minutes, in what was the final action of the first half.

The Basque outfit looked for another rapid response after the break, with Diego Llorente getting on the end of  Sergio Canales' cross in the 51st minute, but his header went straight to Navas.

Mayoral then had two bites at the cherry moments later when he was played in on the left by Asensio, although his initial shot was straight at Rulli and he could only hit the side-netting on the follow-up.

Sociedad's eagerness to push up cost them on 61 minutes when Isco launched a long ball upfield for Bale, who powered past his marker to advance into the area from the right before coolly lifting the ball over Rulli into the back of the net.

Rodrigues attempted to make amends for his own-goal with another first-time strike, this time from 25 yards out after a corner was cleared out into his path, but his volley drifted wide of the right post, while Isco fired over from 20 yards out at the other end on 74 minutes.

Navas had a more routine save to make on 81 minutes from Jose's acrobatic volley following Juanmi's cross on the left, before Asensio had a goal ruled out moments later for a foul on Bale in the build-up to his clinical finish from inside the box on the left.

Sunday's other results:

Alaves 0-3 Villarreal

Girona 0-1 Sevilla

Las Palmas 1-0 Athletic Bilbao

Barca confirm Dembele injury blow

Barcelona's worst fears have been confirmed with the news that Ousmane Dembele will be out of action for up to four months with a hamstring injury.

The off-season signing from Borussia Dortmund was making his full La Liga bow against Getafe on Saturday, but lasted just 29 minutes of Barca's 2-1 win at Coliseum Alfonso Perez.

Dembele went off with a suspected torn hamstring, which was verified on Sunday following scans conducted on the injury, meaning he will be sidelined until after the new year.

The 20-year-old forward was handed his first start in a Blaugrana shirt on Tuesday as Ernesto Valverde's side beat Juventus 3-0 in their UEFA Champions League opener, having made his debut against Espanyol last weekend.

A statement from the Catalan giants read: "The tests have come back following first team player Ousmane Dembele has ruptured the tendon in his femoral bicep in his left thigh.

"The player will be operated on by Dr. Sakari Orava in Finland this week. He is expected to be out for between three and a half months and four months."

Paulinho revels in winner for Barca

Paulinho is pretty chuffed with himself after scoring the winner for Barcelona in Saturday’s Liga clash against Getafe.

Denis Suarez equalised on the hour mark at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez after a fantastic opener from Gaku Shibasaki, before the Brazilian replaced Ivan Rakitic in the 77th minute and secured a 2-1 win with his first goal for the club.

"I’m very happy about scoring the winning goal," the former Tottenham and Guangzhou Evergrande midfielder said after the game.

"The most important thing is that the team got back on the scoreboard, which allowed me to score comeback goal.

"Anger in my celebration? It was a celebration after a difficult match. "Ultimately, the most important thing was to come out with the three points.

"It’s difficult to score in these situations, but I received a great pass from Messi and I’m very happy for my goal.

"Getafe? They have great players, quality players and we conceded a goal, but we kept our peace of mind and patience to turn things around."

Barca maintain perfect record with Getafe win

Barcelona maintained their perfect winning record in La Liga in 2017/18 after they battled to a 2-1 victory over a brave Getafe in Saturday's match at Coliseum Alfonso Perez.

  • Getafe 1 Barcelona 2
  • Molina goes close
  • Shibasaki volleys home
  • Denis Suarez equalises
  • Paulinho hits the winner

Match summary

It was a tight first half although Getafe had the better of the chances and would eventually take the lead when Shibasaki smashed in a superb volley.

Barca battled back in the second half and would find their equaliser midway through the second half from Denis Suarez, and left it late as Paulinho struck the winner.

Match report

It was a relatively tight opening 15 minutes although it would be the home side who created the first chance when Ousmane Dembele was dispossessed, and Gaku Shibasaki's cross was inches away from being turned into the net by Jorge Molina.

Barca struggled to get going, though Samuel Umtiti may feel he should have done better in the 31st minute when he put a free header from a corner straight into the arms of goalkeeper Vicente Guaita.

Yet, eight minutes later the hosts stunned the visitors when Shibasaki rifled home a volley from Markel Bergara's clever chested knock down. It gave Marc-Andre ter Stegen no chance in the goal.

Just before the break, Lionel Messi's free-kick was brilliantly saved from 25 yards out by Guaita.

The Blaugrana weren't their usual fluid self after the interval and had to wait until the 62nd minute to draw level when Denis Suarez converted from Sergio Roberto's cross.

On a rare counter, Mauro Arambarri did force ter Stegen into a smart save at his near post in the 82nd minute.

However, Getafe's hearts were broken two minutes later when Paulinho picked up Messi's pass, powered by a host of defenders and rifled a shot into the back of the net which gave Guaita no chance.

It was the last major action of the game as Barcelona maintained their perfect record in La Liga.

Saturday's other La Liga score in the early kickoff:

Levante 1-1 Valencia