Full Time: Barcelona 4-0 Deportivo
Barcelona ran out easy winners at the Camp Nou this afternoon against Deportivo in a game in which they were rarely tested. Luis Enrique stuck to his under-fire rotation policy, naming both Andrés Iniesta and Leo Messi on the bench, but goals from Rafinha, Luis Suárez and a returning Leo Messi ensured that there would be no media recrimination like there was after the 4-3 defeat to Celta two weeks ago.
In control from the start, Barcelona took the lead on 20 minutes through Rafinha who latched on to a tight through ball from Suárez and lashed home a powerful shot that sneaked under the hands of Germán Lux. The Brazilian doubled his tally and Barcelona's lead fifteen minutes later, knocking in a rebound after Lux had parried Gerard Piqué's header, before Suárez expertly made room for himself in the box to score the third just before half-time.
The second-half, predictably a more pedestrian affair, was the story of two substitutes. Paco Alcácer, who many had expected to start in place of Suárez, almost incredibly failed to open his Barcelona account, first drawing a spectacular save from Lux to keep out his header before firing straight at the Argentinian at close, one-on-one range. Leo Messi, in contrast, crowned his return to the side by latching onto Neymar's through ball to rifle a shot into the roof of the net with just his third touch. The home side's domination was further compounded when Deportivo went down to 10 men after Laure was shown a straight red for a flying elbow to Neymar's face.
Luis Enrique's attention will now turn to Wednesday's match against Pep Guardiola's Manchester City, who are likely to provide much harder competition. In the meantime, Barcelona sit provisionally in second ahead of both Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid who play later on Saturday evening.
Second Half: Barcelona 4-0 Deportivo LIVE
Peeeep! That's full-time. Barcelona run out easy winners.
Min 90+2 | Alcácer again...and he still can't score. The ball is played across goal, he gets a touch but it trickles wide.
Min 90 | We'll have two minutes of added time here. Mosquera smacks one from well outside the box but it soars high over the bar. Depor haven't registered a shot on target all game.
Min 89 | Messi shown a yellow for hacking at Fernando Navarro from behind. First Barça man in the book today.
Min 87 | Messi stands over a free-kick on the right hand side and hits it but his shot is well over. Bit rusty?
Min 85 | Barcelona are still pushing for a fifth here and are camped out in the Depor half. Garitano will just want the final whistle now.
Min 81 | Uyyy! Messi fires in a shot from the edge of the box, drawing a tremendous diving save from Lux. Mathieu heads in a cross resulting from the short corner but the flag's up.
Min 76 | Just having Leo Messi on the pitch makes a visible difference for Barcelona, drawing defenders out of position to make space for the likes of Neymar.
Min 72 | And another! Unbelievable. Neymar swings a cross in and Pique squares it across goal leaving Alcácer alone in front of goal but he hits it straight at Lux. Play goes on but he just buries his face in the post. He just can't score!
Min 71 | Uyyyy! Fantastic save from German Lux to keep out Paco Alcácer's header. Still waiting for his first goal...
Min 69 | Digne loops a cross into the box and it falls nicely for Arda Turan but the Turk fires his tame shot wide. Should have been 5.
Min 67 | Luis Enrique makes his last change. Two-goal Rafinha comes off for Denis Suárez. Big applause from the home fans.
Min 64 | Red for Laure and Depor are down to 10 men! The Depor man is given a straight red for a flying elbow which clatters into Neymar's face. His face has taken quite a beating this week, hasn't it?
Min 63 | Depor make their last change. Luisinho on for Bruno Gama.
Min 61 | Barcelona breakaway. The ball makes its way to Leo Messi, he shapes to shoot but it's deflected. Pique rises high to reach the resulting corner but his powerful header goes high over the bar. Garitano is absolutely furious he was given so much space.
Min 58 | Andone clatters Mascherano and picks up a yellow for his troubles.
Min 57 | Goooooool!! Who else but Messi?! Neymar plays in a magnificent through ball which Messi latche onto and rifles into the roof of the net from an acute angle. That was his third touch of the game. What a way to announce your comeback. 4-0 Barcelona.
Min 56 | Depor make their second change. Former Liverpool winger Ryan Babel comes on for Emre Colak.
Min 54 | Leo Messi is stripped off and ready to come on. The board goes up and it'll be Sergio Busquets coming off. Direct swap, captain for captain. Messi takes the armband and the crowd goes wild.
Min 52 | Andone makes some space for himself on the edge of the box but his shot is charged down and deflected away by Pique.
Min 50 | Pablo Mosquera is the first name in the book after he brings down Neymar. Interestingly, Mosquera came through the ranks at Barça's bitter rivals Real Madrid but is originally from La Coruña.
Min 45 | Peeeeep! And we're off again at the Camp Nou. Luis Suárez, his work done, has been replaced by Paco Alcácer, who'll be looking for his first goal of the season. Messi is warming up too, which gets a big cheer from the home fans.
Half Time: Barcelona 3-0 Deportivo LIVE
A comfortable and straightforward half for Luis Enrique's men who find themselves in the driving seat thanks to goals from Rafinha (2) and Luis Suárez. The home side have dominated possession as they almost always do while Depor have struggled to do much with what little of the ball they've had, looking slow and indecisive up front. They'll feel lucky not to be even further behind. Suárez has been impressive, registering a goal, an assist and a shot that hit the post, but he still has some way to go before he matches his last performance against Depor: he scored 4 and provided 3 assists in an 8-0 thumping towards the end of last season.
First Half: Barcelona 3-0 Deportivo LIVE
Min 45+1 | Alcácer is out warming up on the touchline, so we'll likely see him in the second half. Suárez fires a free-kick just wide and the referee whistles an end to the first-half.
Min 44 | Uyyyyy! Suárez charges forward and unleashes a powerful shot from the right only to see the ball cannon off the left post. This could get out of control very easily.
Min 42 | Goooooooool! Suárez hits Barcelona's third! That was lovely from Suárez. Neymar played the ball into his feet with his back to goal. He feigns and tricks Albentosa, leaving him stranded, creating space to fire a low shot past Lux. This game looks over.
Min 40 | Arda feigns a shot on the edge of the box and plays in Suárez but he fires his effort low and wide of the post.
Min 38 | Arribas is down after what looks like a scuffle with Luis Suárez, who pleads his innocence to the referee. Free kick is given but the Depor player is up on his feet quickly and there's no card. The Uruguayan is one booking away from a suspension.
Min 35 | Goooooooool! Rafinha gets his second and Barcelona take a 2-0 lead! Pique rises high above the defence and attacks a free kick swung in from the right flank. Lux keeps his header out but Rafinha, mid-fall after missing the initial cross, prods in the rebound to score his second of the game.
Min 34 | Neymar and Depor captain Laure have a little scuffle out on the left wing and Barcelona get a free kick. Neymar isn't blonde anymore, if you're interested.
Min 30 | Uyyy! Half-chance for Depor. A corner is swung in and a number of bodies go flying but nobody can get on the end of it.
Min 29 | First change of the day. Sidnei, who took a tumble challenging Luis Suárez earlier in the half, can't continue and limps off to be replaced by Arribas.
Min 28 | Pique's shot from outside the box is deflected and Rakitic steals in but fires over. it wouldn't have counted anyway, the linesman's flag is up.
Min 26 | Barcelona look very comfortable now, passing the ball around in the Depor half. The visitors are playing with 10 men behind the ball.
Min 20 | Gooooooooool!! Rafinha gives Barcelona the lead! The Brazilian latched onto Suárez's forward ball in tight space and fired a strong shot at Lux who couldn't keep it out. The keeper should have done better there, it was right at him.
Min 19 | Barça ignore the old 'don't pass across the face of goal' mantra and pass the ball across the back four, via Ter Stegen, from Digne to Mathieu. Nice.
Min 18 | Some nice play on the edge of the box by Barcelona sees the ball make its way to Ivan Rakitic but his shot is deflected and doesn't cause Lux any problems.
Min 16 | Romanian international Florin Andone breaks through towards goal but, under pressure, smacks his shot well wide and high of the goal from outside the box.
Min 15 | 65% possession for Barcelona in the opening quarter of an hour. Nothing unusual about that, really.
Min 12 | Neymar's free-kick is a good one but it flies just high of Lux's goal. Looked like the Argentinian had it covered though.
Min 11 | Neymar is brought down by Mosquera at the other end, near the edge of the Depor box. Free-kick to Barcelona. Play is delayed as Sidnei is down on the right hand side and Garitano gets Arribas to warm up on the sidelines just in case.
Min 9 | Depor have the ball close to the edge of the Barcelona box but Celso Borges dilly-dallies in possession and he's out-muscled.
Min 6 | Uyyyyy! Chance for Barcelona! Neymar finds some space in the box and latches onto the end of a cross in from the right-hand side only to see his volley clatter off the crossbar. Luis Suárez is first to the rebound but he heads over with just Lux to beat. Early warning signs.
Min 5 | Quiet start here as Barcelona take hold of possession. Neymar obstructs Lux's clearance and a foul is awarded on the edge of the Depor box.
Peeeeeeeep! And we're off! Barcelona kick off from right to left in their traditional blue and red stripes, Depor in their white away strip.
1 min to kick-off | Sergio Busquets is wearing the captain's armband today in the absence of both Andrés Iniesta and Leo Messi.
5 mins to kick-off | Both sides are now in the tunnel, the Camp Nou expectant. Depor full-back Fernando Navarro, who came through the ranks at Barcelona, is chatting away with iniesta and some of his old colleagues. Hugs and smiles all round.
15 mins to kick-off | The players are out warming up on the Camp Nou turf and it's a lovely, sunny day. It looks like a perfect day for football in Barcelona.
Barcelona - Deportivo: Starting line-ups
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Digne, Pique, Mascherano, Mathieu; Busquets, Rakitic, Arda Turan; Rafinha, Luis Suárez, Neymar. Subs: Masip, Umtiti, André Gomes, Denis Suárez, Iniesta, Alcácer, Messi.
Deportivo: Lux; Laure, Albentosa, Sidnei, Navarro; Mosquera, Guilherme, Borges; Bruno Gama, Çolak, Andone. Subs: Tyton, Alex, Marlos Moreno, Arribas, Luisinho, Borja Valle, Babel.
Luis Enrique has sprung a few surprises with his starting XI. It was widely believed that Luis Suárez would be rested with Manchester City in mind but he starts up front alongside Neymar so Paco Alcácer, who is yet to get on the scoresheet since his big-money summer move from Valencia, has to make do with a place on the bench. As expected Messi doesn't start and neither does Andrés Iniesta, who Luis Enrique also rested against Celta before the international break. And spare a thought for Aleix Vidal, not included in the squad for the seventh consecutive match. He must surely be on the way out of the club now.
Deportivo will be looking to continue their good defensive form naming Albentosa and Sidnei at the centre of defence. The Galicians have the third-meanest defence in LaLiga, conceding just six in opening seven games. Barcelona have conceded that many in their last four games alone.
Barcelona - Deportivo: Latest news
15:40 | It's currently a very pleasant 23 degrees in the Catalan capital and it's forecast to stay that way through the afternoon. There's almost no wind but Luis Enrique will certainly be hoping that Depor turn out to be a breeze.
15:20 | The starting XIs are out and there are a few surprises for the home team. Luis Suárez starts alongside Neymar with Messi on the bench. Iniesta is also on the bench, rested with the match with Manchester City in mind.
14:55 | It looks likely that Luis Enrique won't risk playing Leo Messi ahead of next week's clash with Manchester City. The visitors will obviously be pleased; as centre-back Raúl Albentosa said, citing the obvious, "He's one of the best in the world. I'd prefer him not to play.” The Argentinian has an impressive record against the Galicians, with 16 goals and 6 assists in just 13 games.
13:31 | Deportivo have a none too shabby recent record away to Barça, grabbing three draws from their past four visits. However, the last time the sides met the Galicians were on the end of an 8-0 walloping at Riazor in April.
13:25 | What does the AS oracle's crystal ball hold for today's game at the Camp Nou? Find out here.
12:46 | Barça's squad has been announced, with Leo Messi, Ivan Rakitic and Samuel Umtiti all fit to be included and no place for misfit Aleix Vidal...
12:10 | Scrambling around desperately trying to find out where you can watch the game? Scramble no more with our handy guide featuring all the key information on the wheres and whens of this afternoon's clash.
10:30 | Might we suggest a cheeky read of our match preview below to accompany your Saturday-morning cornflakes?
10:19 | Morning all! Barça host Depor in just under six hours' time as they seek to bounce back from defeat last time out in LaLiga - we'll be building up to the match between now and the first whistle, before taking you through the teams' clash in the Catalonian capital.
Barcelona vs Deportivo: Preview
Barcelona dropped a couple of places in LaLiga after the 4-3 disaster away to Celta Vigo, and return to the Camp Nou to play a Depor side looking to move out of the bottom half of LaLiga, with Gaizka Garitano's side on eight points after seven matches, but only three points behind Las Palmas in seventh place.
Luis Enrique's side's last outing in LaLiga was the defeat away to Celta, with that terrible night defensively costing them the chance of the leadership. They are currently fourth on 14 points, one behind Sevilla and two behind Real Madrid and leaders Atlético Madrid.
What Barcelona and their supporters won't be forgetting is that Depor, another team from Galicia like Celta, managed to snatch a draw last season at the Camp Nou (2-2).
And Barça come into the game with injury problems: Jordi Alba and Jasper Cillessen are out, while Samuel Umtiti and Leo Messi are close to full recovery and could play. Luis Enrique said Messi would decide how much he would play.
Sergi Roberto is a doubt, having strained a muscle in his right leg. At present it looks like Enrique will give Aleix Vidal an opportunity at right-back.
All the players are back from the international break, and although Javier Mascherano, Sergio Busquets, Gerard Piqué and Andrés Iniesta all likely need a rest, only the latter could be rotated.
If nothing changes Barcelona are likely to start with Neymar, Paco Alcácer and Arda Turan.
Depor will be visiting the Camp Nou hopeful of taking something, and dreaming of picking up three points that would give them some breathing space. Garitano's side come into this match having won at home against Sporting (2-1) and being beaten against Atleti 1-0 in the Calderón in the previous match.
They know that picking up something from Barcelona would give their fans a major boost, who have been suffering watching their side, after the departure of star Lucas Pérez. And they have reason to hope: Depor have managed a draw here on three out of their last four visits.
Garitano will still be without Joselu, out until the end of November, but he gets back Carles Gil, who was out for two weeks with a muscle strain.
Barcelona-Deportivo: Possible teams
Ter Stegen; Aleix Vidal, Digne, Mascherano, Piqué; Busquets, André Gómez, Arda; Neymar, Alcácer and Rafinha.
Coach: Luis Enrique
Lux; Laure, Arribas, Albentosa, Navarro; Guilherme, Borges; Fayçal, Çolak, Borja Valle; and Florin Andone.
Coach: Gaizka Garitano
Barcelona vs Deportivo: Live match build-up
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