Sporting 0-5 Barcelona match report
If ever a scoreline is a deceptive reflection of what happened in the ninety minutes of action it's today's game at El Molinon. With the game at 0-2 and Sporting threatening the Barcelona goal, home captain Alberto Lora made a rash challenge on Sergi Roberto and left match official Del Cerro Grande with no choice but to issue the player with his second card of the afternoon and left the Asturian side with ten men.
Up to that point goals from Luis Suarez and Rafinha had put Luis Enrique's side in a comfortable but never definitive and a spirited second half performance from Sporting never ruled the home side totally out of the game and more accurate distribution from Victor Rodriguez could have made things different for the home side.
With Lora's dismissal all believe fizzled out of Sporting and Barça went on the rampage with Neymar bagging two goals and Luis Suarez opening the scoring that sees the Uruguayan move to the top of LaLiga top scorer chart. Luis Enrique will have been encouraged by the performances of Arda and Andre Gomes and an injury free afternoon is just the tonic for the Astturian coach ahead of a tricky trip to Monchengladbach midweek in the Champions League
Sporting 0-5 Barcelona: as it happened
FT: That's it, all over in Gijon. Barcelona win by five goals and provisionally go top of the table
Min 93 | Sporting fans chant defiantly despite the excessive scoreline
Min 90 | 3 minutes of time to be added as Neymar drives a ferocious shot off the post
Min 88 | Neymar makes it 5 ! An expert finish from the Brazilian as he fires the ball under Cuellar's legs.
Min 88 | A 0-4 scoreline si somewhat harsh on Abeladros' side.
Min 86 | Frustration showing in the Sporting side as Amorbieta is carded.
Sergi Roberto crosses and the Turkish international finds himself unmarked and nods home.
Min 85 | Arda makes it 4 !
Min 84 | Sporting refuse to throw in the towel and keep the pressure on the Barça goal.
Min 81 | Great strike from Paco Alcacer rifling a right footed shot which rattles the Sporting bar. The ball falls nicely for the Brazilian who dummy's the keeper and pops the ball into an empty net.
Min 81 | Neymar taps home a rebound and its 0-3
Min 80 | Into the last ten, looks like the three points will be heading back to the Catalan capital
Min 77 | Change for Sporting. Victor Rodriguez off and Douglas on to face his former side.
Min 76 | Uphill for the Asturian side now. A shame as they had been threatening but surely a bridge too far for Abelardo's men.
Min 74 | Lora fouls Sergi Roberto and gets his second yellow. Sporting down to 10 for the remaining 17 minutes.
Min 73 | Danger again from Sporting ...if only their final ball was better...
Min 71 | Danger at both ends, first Sporting attack with Ndi breaking through then Amorbieta manages to cut out Barça danger at the other end.
Min 70 | Alcacer set to come on for Barça. Luis Suarez off
Min 68 | Change for Barça: Suarez (Dennis) on and Sergio Busquets off
Min 68 | Moi Gomez and Cop off
Min 65 | Changes for Sporting imminent: Carlos Castro and Ndi set to come on....
Min 63 | Cop fires goal bound but blocked by the men in purple
Min 61 | Possession: Sporting 42% v 58% Barça
Min 60 | Lillo is a lucky luck man. The official misses his sly elbow into Arda's face. Could have been a red !
Min 58 | All Sporting at the moment as Barça step back and allow the Asturian side to dominate play.
Min 56 | Victor Rodriguez again but this time better from the No. 7 as he forces Ter Stegen to parry the ball out for a corner
Min 52 | Victor Rodriguez has had so many decent chances today to open the Barça defence open but his final ball has constantly let him (and Sporting) down.
Min 49 | Better from the Asturian side in the opening few minutes of the second half.
Min 49 | Abelardo orders his bench to warm-up as the home side win a corner.
Min 48 | 26.000 fans at El Molinon today, 3.000 short of a sell-out.
Min 46 | We're underway again at El Molinon
Sporting - Barcelona: half-time analysis
Two goals in the space of three minutes that see Barcelona top the league table on a temporary basis. An open first half an hour saw neither side create any clear-cut chances until Suarez latched onto an Arda lofted pass and rounded Cuellar in the Barça goal to slot home. Sporting found themselves behind within another three minutes with Rafinha heading home following excellent build up play from Arda and Sergi Roberto.
The next goal is critical.
Sporting 0-2 Barcelona (half time)
Min 46 | Del Cerro Grande calls time.
Min 45 | One minute of time to be added.
Min 44 | Sporting attack with danger, the final Victor Rodriguez pass was stray but the home side are not totally out of the contest just yet. A goal for the Asturians would really make things interesting.
Min 43 | Barcelona strolling around now just running the clock down ahead of the interval.
Min 41 | A new air of confidence about Barça now playing with composure and assurance
Min 39 | Amorbieta flashes the ball across the Barça goal mouth but no red and white shirted player was on hand to nod home
Min 38 | Long cross field balls seem to be the tonic to open sporting up with the visitors spraying long passes around.
Min 37 | Suarez almost makes it 3 as he latches on to an "up & under" from Pique but the No. 9 fires his shot into the side netting.
Min 36 | Corners: Sporting 1-3 Barcelona
Min 34 | El Molinon has fallen silent. Two goals in the space of 3 minutes has left the packed stadium shellscocked
Neymar to Sergi Roberto who delivers a delightful ball which Rafinha does well heading home from close range. Cruel on Sporting !
Min 31 | Rafinha makes it 2 !
Min 30 | Question mark over the Sporting back line as their offside trap failed to work with the Uruguayan being on side when the Arda pass was played.
A lofted ball from Arda finds Suarez free and he sneaks the ball past Cuellar and taps home into an open net. 5th league goal for the Barça No. 9
Min 29 | Suarez puts Barça ahead !
Min 28 | Andre Gomes again, this time with a better shot but never troubles Cuellar in the Sporting goal
Min 26 | Victor Rodriguez steals free and takes too much time on the ball. Barça immediately launch a counter and break down the other side and Andre Gomes fires over.
Min 23 | Barça struggling to get their traditional passing rhythm together and a sense that Sporting are growing as the game evolves.
Danger for Sporting here, can they take advantage .... the answer is no ...poor free kick into the wall
Min 19 | What is Ter Stegen doing there? The German takes the ball over the line and gifts Sporting a freekick. Good spot from the linesman
Min 18 | Sporting have amended their defensive style, dropping back and applying less pressure
Min 16 | Gomes finds Suarez free but the Uruguayan striker is just offside
Min 15 | Possession: Sporting 39% v Barça 61%
Min 14 | Neymar tries a spectacular overhead effort. The ball is easily gathered by Cuellar but the move was ruled out for offside
Min 11 | Plenty of noise coming from the Sporting fans, letting Del Cerro Grande know their displeasure when decisions don't go the way of the home side
Dangerous free kick for the Catalan side. Neymar to take ...poor take from the Brazilian creating no danger.
Min 9 | Card for Lora after he wrestles Rafinha to ground
Min 6 | Sporting playing a high intensity game, giving the Barcelona players no time on the ball with constant pressure.
Min 4 | Frantic start at El Molinon with Barça trying to impose their passing style.
Lucas Digne being attended to as Jordi Alba warms up. A clash with Croatian international the cause of the injury.
Min 1 | Digne is down holding his tendon, not looking good.
Min 0 | Off we go at El Molinon... Sporting get us underway.
Madrid based Del Cerro Grande is our match official today as Busquets and Lora attend the toss-up.
The home fans unfurl a giant "tifo" bearing the motto "Mar de sueños" (Sea of Dreams)
The teams take to the pitch, Sporting in red and white stripes, blue shorts & socks. Barça in an all purple kit.
16:05 | Warm up over for both sides and just ten minutes before we get underway at the excellent El Molinon stadium.
15:55 | Luis Enrique opts to rotate again with one eye possibly on next week's away trip to Monchengladbach.
13:28 | Sporting will wear their classic red and white stripes today with Barça in a change purple shirt.
12:10 | If you want to know ahead of time what is going to happen today, check out AS English predictions. Unless you know our track record, of course.
11:05 | Our live feed not good enough for you? Here are some alternatives although we're sure you won't be able to stay away from us for long.
10:25 | A lovely morning in Gijón today with a temperature of 20 degrees Celsius. By kick-off we'll be looking at a comfortable 24 degrees. Worth a light covering of factor 30 for any fairer faces in the stands though. And Iniesta.
Abelardo and Luis Enrique former colleagues at the Asturian club go head to head at El Molinon with each coach experiencing very different 2015/16 seasons. Barça travel to Gijon looking to forget about the injury sustained midweek by Lionel Messi and Sporting looking to bounce back from two successive defeats and treat their fans with a solid performance against the current LaLiga champions.
The current campaign got off to a flying start for the Asturian outfit and Abelardo's team came into last Saturday's clash at the Calderón in third place in the table. The good run of form was short lived as Atletico saw off the Gijon side with a 4-0 scoreline in a very one sided affair. Celta Vigo also managed to deprive the Asturian side of securing any points with their 1-2 win as any early season optimism has been cut short in the space of just seven days. A win over the current champions would be a major boost of morale for the team in a game set to be played at a sold-out El Molinón stadium.
Abelardo must do without Douglas, after the Brazilian picked up one of the most bizarre injuries of recent footballing history, injuring his backside whilst asleep. The rest of the squad are available for selection and the Asturian coach is expected to make changes after the Atlético and Celta games.
Barça arrive in Gijon worried about the injury picked up by talisman Leo Messi who will be out of action for at least three weeks. The No. 10's injury is another headache for Luis Enrique who must also do without defender Umtiti who was ruled out of Wednesday's clash with Atletico at Campo Nou in the last minute. Busquets is available for the coach after recovering from a bout of flu that saw him exit Wednesday's game in the second half. Aleix Vidal is one Barça player who won't be involved in the match and posted a cryptic (and quickly deleted) message on his Instagram alluding to his frustrating situation at the club.