Messi shines again as Barcelona get another Camp Nou five
FC Barcelona vs Valladolid live online
Comfortable Camp Nou
Truth be told, and hindsight is a powerful tool, Ernesto Valverde's men were never in doubt of leaving tonight without all three points. An early goal, fortunate though it was from Lenglet, set the platform, and despite Valladolid pulling one back, the control and flow of the match was always favouring the hosts.
Vidal and Suárez both finished off Messi's delicious passes, and the Argentine grabbed the other two goals to cap, yet another, fine display.
With ten games played, the reigning champions sit two points clear at the top of LaLiga, with Real Madrid aiming to half that on Wednesday night.
Peep, peep, peeeeeeep! The game comes to a close and FC Barcelona go top of LaLiga.
Valladolid have a crossing chance but it's cleared and Suárez is played into acres of space to run into (his first touch was sublime).
He eventually works it back to Messi in the area and his efforts glides just the wrong side of the left upright.
There will be two minutes added on.
Dead-ball situation for Valladolid to try and join Betis and Valencia with a Camp Nou 5-2. Awful effort which I'll say no more about.
It's worth noting that Piqué has made himself available on several occasions in this second half in the opposition penalty area. He may enjoy getting in on the scoring action but it feels rather irresponsible on a number of levels.
Barça have had another couple of chances to add to their tally in quick succession. First Suárez had a tame effort comfortably gathered by Masip. Then Rakitic in a great position to roll a cross to a teammate, but played it too close to the keeper.
The home side seemingly just taking the sting out of this game now. And whereas 10 minutes ago Valladolid cared to press hard, it is clear that they realise the game has gone. (If you've got anything better to do, you should go do it now)
Michel sees his name go into the refs notepad after a crunching challenge that leaves Busquets hurt. He should be fine to continue.
GOAL!!! Suárez Immediately makes it five.
The Uruguayan lays off the ball to Messi in the midfield and then takes off through the centre of the tiring Valladolid defence. The pass back to him couldn't have been more perfect, allowing Suárez to fire low first time. Football made easy.
GOAL!!! Lionel Messi adds the fourth.
Just when there didn't appear to be any danger, a loose ball is played first time by Rakitic into the Argentine. His sharp control and firm strike leaves Masip with no chance.
Corner for Barça is taken by the recently-introduced Griezmann but is headed away well by the defence.
The striker was shown a card for that challenge.
A strong sprinting break sets Guardiola in on Ter Stegen's goal. Or, at least, it almost did but excellent covering from Piqué removes any risk.
Ouchie! As the defender strides away, Guardiola decides to clatter through him.
Unal comes on for Plano in the final change for the visitors.
As the minutes tick down there is a growing feeling that Barça are just going to see this out. Their controlled passing finding more and more space. That said, one Valladolid break and...
Ansu Fati says goodbye to a very grateful crowd, and the 59,000 fans give a huge ovation for the French striker who comes on in his place.
Waldo tries to create space for his teammates on the left but good covering ensures that nothing comes from it. Now it's time for Griezmann...
The home side happy to knock the ball around in and near their own area, under pressure but in control.
De Jong leaving and the Inter-linked Rakitic is on.
Good delivery into the Barça area from Hervias is dealt with and we have a home change coming up.
The corner that comes from that last move is almost turned home by Lenglet but just flies by the far post. A Barça goal seems the most likely next event.
CHANCE! Messi runs through the centre and as he reaches the edge of the area nudges the ball to his left for Fati to hit first time. A deflection almost wrong-foots Masip who does well to block and the danger is cleared.
Pablo Hervias on as the second change for Sergio. Anuar Mohamed Tuhami off.
Loose from Ter Stegen there as he plays a ball rolled back to him straight out of play instead of finding a teammate. The German has not had a lot to do tonight but what he has done has been average at best.
A little to-in and fro-ing in possession as each side looks to build but it's those in the violet and white that¡, understandably, appear more hungry.
Corner to Barça and Fati takes it quick and short. The danger is quickly dealt with and home fans surprisingly get excited. Oh, there's a Frenchman out to warm up.
The visitors deal well with Barça's early high pressure and then almost fashion an opening down the left wing. The final pass is just overhit.
Valladolid get us going again. No changes to personnel.
Teams are heading back out...
This is where Messi has been most effective in the first half.
It would be boring if it wasn't a joy
When you see the same thing over and over again, it can start to get really rather dull. But when it comes to a genius like Lionel Messi, few would argue that boredom is a word to be used for his repeatedly delightful play.
Nutmegs, free-kicks and, more importantly, creating space and feeding in others, seems so easy for the number 10. And the opposition are struggling to do anything to stop him.
Business as usual
As the teams go in at the break it feels like the home side are en route to a fairly comfortable victory. The fortunate opener was cancelled out by some questionable keeping and Valladolid have fought well to suggest they could make it an uncomfortable evening.
A return to the top of LaLiga is not yet secure, but it definitely feels that we are headed that way.
No more action as the ref brings the action to a close. Time for the managers to have their say.
Messi gets it up and down and inside the near post. The difference this time is that Masip was well across his line and punches clear. Just the one added minute to be added.
Fernández into the book for a clumsy foul on Semedo...and another free-kick awaits.
A period of sustained play comes to an end with a cheeky effort from Ansu Fati. He is determined to get involved as much as possible, may having been told that he'll be making way early into the second half.
The violet and white stripes push forward looking to get something before half-time and manage to force a corner. Michel fires it into the mixer and it almost causes an issue for Ter Stegen before his defenders help him out.
Silky play from the Argentine, including a lovely nutmeg that draws lush affection from the adoring crowd, frees Fati to run at the Valladolid backline in space. A little too much overplay from the youngster and the visitors are back on the ball.
GOAL!!! No way! Textbook from Messi.
Curled over the wall and slid into the near post as Masip threw himself in vain. Class once again.
Free-kick to Barça about 30 yards from Masip's goal, level with the right-hand edge o the area. One of those spots you can imagine a little Argentine being tempted with.
Nacho has picked up an injury and is replaced by Mohammed Salisu
Valverde will be keen to keep things tighter now, potentially taking even more advantage of their 70% possession. Looks like a sub coming up before half-time for the viistors...
GOAL!!! It's that man again, Vidal breaks the trap and fires home.
Messi just keeps doing delicious stuff with the ball. An inch-perfect lob arrives in front of the Chilean, who still had plenty to do to volley home.
CHANCE!! As I say that, a delightful cross from De Jong on the left is only fractionally too high for Vidal to get a clean header on it. Offside trap taught a lesson.
It's certainly not one way traffic right now. Both sides using their possession well to push into the opposition's final third. No more clear-cut scoring opportunities since the goals though.
An effort from distance from Fati is not met cleanly, and causes no problems to Masip or away fan palpitations.
Great run from Waldo Rubio who makes it all the way into the Barça penalty area and has the defenders on their heels. A step-over too many allows them to stop any shot being taken, and then the midfielder fouls as he works hard to win it back.
There seems to be a real desire from Barça to attack down the left, using the pace of Fati to get in. No joy this time and Valladolid regain possession.
GOAL!!! It certainly was a chance! Kiko taps home.
Inswinging ball evades the crowd of heads and Ter Stegen blocks it timidly back into danger. The defender stabs it home before anyone noticed. Game (maybe) on.
Chance here for Valladolid, a free-kick wide on the left.
More nice play from the hosts, who certainly look to be in control at this point. As they strive to create an opening, a loose ball from Suárez sees Busquets clattered.
Messi steps up for one of his specials but the distance was always going to make it tough and Masip steps to the side and catches the effort.
Michel Herrero tries to make something happen for his side but loses out and barça come again.
The corner from Messi is dangerous but a high boot from Piqué allows the visitors to settle things down...at least for a moment.
Delightful play from Messi and Fati. The Argentine collects in midfield and is quick to turn and release the youngster. As he threatens to go past the covering full-back instead he slides a pass back to Messi who then finds the overlapping Alba with a cute chip. His low drive is well blocked.
Immediately Valladolid look to hit back. An effort from distance by Rubio takes a flick off Piqué's boot and sails away for a corner. Nothing comes from that.
GOAL!!! What a hit from Lenglet (ok the deflection helped)
The initial chance from the corner had appeared to have gone but a poor clearance feel to the big defender who struck it on the volley. A wicked deflection off the blocking player sees the ball fly in off the bar. What a start.
Corner won after more pressure down the left.
Early build up from the hosts down the left. Some very neat work from both Jordi Alba and Ansu Fati. As the space appeared to open up Porro was quick to close it down forcing Barça back.
And we're off!
We're just about ready to get the game going. Barça will start us off...
The teams are ready, they meet and embrace in the Camp Nou tunnel and then walk out onto the pitch to line up.
Rapturous welcome from the home fans, some of whom won't get home until rather late, but hey, it's Spain.
Hectic schedule ahead
Valverde knows that with the delayed Clásico, there could be a challenging few weeks ahead. We had a look at how that could play out.
Simply the best
One story that no doubt caught your eye the other day was the interview with barça talisman Lionel Messi (here it is if not). In that he was in no doubt about who the best striker he had ever seen was...
...the man who just happens to be chairman of tonight's opponents, Ronaldo Nazário.
Warm ups done, team talk time. What will Sergio González do to try and get the better of Ernesto Valverde?
Atlético step in front of Barça...
The whistle has blown at Mendizorroza and Simeone's side has collected just the single point. They go level with Granada on 20.
A win tonight would take Barça's victorious home run to 12 games. In that time the blaugrana have scored 29 goals and conceded just the seven. Can we expect a third 5-2 result (after Valencia and Betis suffered)? Don't bet against it.
The man in the middle tonight is Javier Alberola Rojas who was also in charge for the rather significant recent loss of Madrid, away at Mallorca. He's not yet refereed either of these sides this season.
How neat does that look? Here's hoping the Valladolid team also remember to tidy up before they leave!
The Barça stars looking nice and relaxed as they head in. They'll no doubt be delighted to be back playing again.
Valladolid team news
The familiar name of Sergi Guardiola starts up front for the visitors but will be expected to track back and help his side out if, as expected, they spend much of the game under the cosh. Oscar Plano will be one of the supporting acts, having been his side's last scorer in the two away wins mentioned.
Real Valladolid XI: Masip; Joaquín, Kiko Olivas, Barba; Pedro Porro, Anuar, Míchel, Nacho; Waldo, Óscar Plano, Sergi Guardiola
Barcelona team news
The headline news coming out of Camp Nou is that young Ansu Fati is back in the starting line-up. The bargain-basement summer signing Antoine Griezmann will take his place among the substitutes.
Barcelona XI: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Lenglet, Jordi Alba; Busquets, De Jong, Vidal; Messi, Suárez, Ansu Fati
The visitors arrive knowing that the bookmakers have them at 19/1 shots to leave with all three points. That may seem a little harsh given they sit in a respectable ninth place in the table and have won twice on the road.
With three wins, two losses and five draws - and knowing the fire power that could line up against them tonight - keeping things tight has to be the objective. Defensively they have conceded one less than their more illustrious hosts (having played a game more).
The hosts come into this game after having the weekend off. You'll remember why that was, I'm sure, but if not, have a read here as the story is not over yet.
Their opening nine games have been interesting, with six wins, two losses and a draw seeing them bag 23 goals and concede 10. With the other half of El Clásico not in action till tomorrow, Ernesto Valverde will want to put a little distance between them.
AS English welcome
LaLiga Santander is back already! A very warm welcome to you wherever you are joining us from in the world as we head to the Camp Nou to see whether Barça can go back on top of the league with a win over Valladolid.
A draw willl be enough for the hosts to overtake Granada at the summit, having a better goal difference than the Andalusians. In saying that, a point will not take them top if Atlético win in today's early game. We'll check in on that one once it's over.