Barcelona 5-1 Alavés: result, summary and goals
Barcelona vs Alavés: as it happened
Messi equals Barcelona's LaLiga appearances record set by Xavi
Lionel Messi equalled Barcelona's all-time LaLiga appearances record set by Xavi in Saturday's 5-1 win over Alavés at Camp Nou.
The club captain has moved to within just eight games of the former midfielder’s overall record for the club of 767 games in all competitions.
Ronald Koeman post-match:
"I liked the team's hunger. In the first half, we weren't good. But after they scored to make it 2-1 we got into the game, and we were able to let some players rest. Trincão did very well.
"PSG? I think we're in a good phase, creating a lot of goal opportunities. We've improved, but we have to make very few mistakes. I see the tie pretty evenly. We know we have to be good to progress.
"Messi is happy. When we connect with him between the lines and the rest of the players run, everything is easier for him."
- 85% 14%
- 91% 8%
- 69% 30%
- 64% 35%
- 80% 20%
- 92% 7%
- 67% 32%
- 63% 36%
- 64% 35%
- 72% 27%
- 52% 47%
- 97% 2%
- 87% 12%
- 74% 25%
- 56% 43%
- 55% 44%
- 53% 46%
- 72% 28%
Tonight's win moves Barcelona onto 46 points, eight behind league leaders Atlético, who won 2-1 away at Granada earlier on Saturday.
Riqui Puig post-match: "Seven wins a row says a lot about us. I felt very comfortable and with Busquets, he helps us a lot. I think it opened up for us after Trincao's goal. I'm happy to play 90 minutes, and I thank Koeman for that. Tomorrow we'll start thinking about PSG."
Barcelona run out 5-1 winners. Three second half goals in six minutes put the game to bed in the 80th minute. Messi was incredible once again.
FT: Barcelona 5-1 Alavés
We'll have just 60 seconds of added-on time at Camp Nou.
Next up for Barca is PSG.
Trincao scores!...but he's offside. Messi plays him in for his hat-trick but he's half a yard offside.
Koeman will be delighted with Trincao's performance too. Three goals in two games for the young winger.
Messi is now up to 15 goals in LaLiga, just one behind his good friend Luis Suárez.
Pedri has played an important role in this period of dominance. A classy player, still only 18, he really makes them tick. Big future ahead of him.
Barcelona have just ran away with it in the last six minutes; similar to what happened in Granada last week.
They're on their way to a seventh straight win in LaLiga in 2021. Impressive stuff.
Barcelona 5-1 Alavés
Messi lobs a pass to Griezmann - who crosses to the back post with his first touch - and Junior Firpo is there to smack it home from close range.
Barcelona 4-1 Alavés
Messi has just pinged one into the top corner from 25 yards, giving Pacheco absolutely no chance. Just seconds after Trincao scored Barca's third.
Trincao gets his second. Pacheco stops Messi in a one on one, the ball falls to Trincao, who buries it.
TRINCAO MAKES IT THREE!
OFF De Jong & Mingueza
ON Pjanic & Dest
Rioja fails to pick out Joselu at the back post. Alavés corner!
Griezmann has been in fine form of late, scoring two and assisting two in Barcelona's 5-3 Copa del Rey win over Granada.
Barcelona see yet another chance go a begging. Griezmann is at an acute angle on his weaker right foot. His effort goes past Pacheco's left post after failing to properly connect. 2-1
OFF Ilaix Moriba
Messi pulls a 20-yard effort just wide. It remains 2-1!
Super chance for Trincao, he really should score! One on one with Pacheco but the keeper manages to save it! He loves playing against Barcelona.
Pedri, one of the most exciting talents in Europe, is warming up for Barcelona.
Pacheco stops the free-kick with a fine save. Messi didn't get the power behind it but kept it on target. Those 20/25-yard frees are almost like penalties for the Argentine at times.
Barca free in a very dangerous position. Messi stands over it.
Barcelona 2-1 Alavés
He's only the pitch 12 minutes, but Luis Rioja pulls one back for Alavés after some poor Barca defending. Good finish. Game on.
I don't think it's Lucas Pérez's night, he hits yet another shot over the bar. The former West Ham player is constantly looking to create problems for Barca but has just lacked that bit of quality in the final third.
If Barca hold on to their 2-0 lead, they will remain undefeated in LaLiga in 2021, with seven straight wins.
Messi sends his free-kick just a couple of inches over Lenglet's head and the French defender is unable to get a clear header on target.
Alavés have a mountain to climb in this second half after Messi's wonderstrike at the end of the first.
Lucas Pérez goes close to grabbing one back for the Basques but blasts over Ter Stegen's bar.
Barcelona lead 2-0.
It sounds like we'll have a couple of changes for both teams.
The players are getting ready for the second half, hanging out in the tunnel, but I haven't seen any jersey swaps during the break, which can only be a good thing.
Messi buried his shot from outside the box, it hits the post before hitting the net and leaving Pacheco, who has been solid, with no chance.
HT: Barcelona 2-0 Alavés
Messi scores on his 505th LaLiga appearance for Barcelona against Alavés.
Fantastic strike from Messi to make it 2-0 to Barcelona just before the break.
We're heading for the break in Barcelona. Alavés with just 30% possession will be happy to go in only 1-0 down.
Leo Messi smiles when he sees the replays of the offside on the big screen at Camp Nou. It's a smile of, "This VAR thing is unbelievable!"
Looking back at the offside goal, it's so so so close. Griezmann is the player in the offside position but it couldn't be closer to being on.
The goal has been ruled out for offside after going to VAR.
Griezmann's strike is stopped by Pacheco, and the ball falls to Messi, who taps home with his right foot.
It would have been ruled out for offside anyway..
Superb stop from Pacheco to deny Trincao a second!
Looking back at the replays, it's a fine left-footed strike by Trincao from 12 yards out.
Barcelona 1-0 Alavés
Barcelona take the lead at Camp Nou. Trincao buries his left-footed shot into the net thanks to an assist from debutant Ilaix Moriba. Two goals in two games for Trincao.
Lucas Pérez produces some skill that Ronaldinho would've produced on the Camp Nou turf over a decade ago. Excellent touch, before spraying a volley-pass to the right wing. Alavés certainly have some quality in their side.
The corner ends up being a free out to Barca for a foul on Busquets. The wise old fox knows when to go down but this time he gets hit by Joselu.
Alavés get their second corner of the game, despite Barcelona's early domination.
Messi gets fouled; Abelardo gets angry. We may see some more of that over the next couple of hours.
It has been a quiet debut so far for Ilaix Moriba. Messi is finding pockets of space but has yet to find that magic pass.
Duarte is ok it seems and is back playing. Good news for Abelardo.
Lucas Pérez to swing in the free-kick for Alavés. Barcelona break from their box through Messi, who is taken out and it's now a free for the home side.
Rubén Duarte is down and it doesn't look great for the defender. Alavés may be forced into an early change here.
Griezmann volleys the ball out of the Barca box and out of danger.
Corner Alavés! after some neat play from Lucas Perez.
Messi makes his 505th LaLiga appearance for Barcelona tonight, matching Xavi and leaving the Argentine eight short of the overall club record.
Barca are knocking it about quite swiftly so far. Messi earns a corner but it's sent in too high! Alavés break straight from the corner, resulting in a really poor Lucas Pérez strike that flies over the bar.
And it is indeed Trincao who strikes on goal, but his low left-footed drive hits the side netting.
Trincao will be full of confidence tonight after his late winner against Real Betis last week. A fabulous strike too! It was his first for the club.
Griezmann has his close range shot blocked! The Frenchman was very close to opening the scoring for Barcelona.
Frenkie de Jong starts at centre-back tonight!
We're underway at Camp Nou for Barcelona vs Alavés!
Ronald Koeman has made plenty of changes for tonight's clash. The sides draw 1-1 at Mendizorroza in their first meeting of the season back on Halloween night.
The players are in the tunnel at Camp Nou.
Ilaix Moriba makes his LaLiga debut for Barcelona
The 18-year-old starts for Ronald Koeman's side for the first time in the league. He is a highly-rated player - it will be interesting to see how he gets on tonight alongside Messi, Griezmann etc.
Barcelona starting XI:
- 1 Ter Stegen
- 15 Clement Lenglet
- 24 Júnior Firpo
- 28 Óscar Mingueza
- 21 Frenkie De Jong
- 27 Moriba Kourouma
- 5 Busquets
- 12 Ricard Puig
- 7 Griezmann
- 17 Trincão
- 10 Messi
Alavés starting XI:
- 1 Pacheco
- 2 Alberto Rodríguez
- 21 Martín Aguirregabiria
- 22 Lejeune
- 3 Rubén Duarte
- 17 Íñigo Córdoba
- 8 Pina
- 16 Edgar Méndez
- 6 Rodrigo Battaglia
- 7 Lucas Pérez
- 9 Joselu
Abelardo returns to Camp Nou
Kick-off is just 10 minutes away! Barcelona will be hoping to make up for their midweek Copa del Rey defeat to Sevilla.
Abelardo will be aiming to cause an upset in the opposition dugout against his former club.
Barcelona-Alavés H2H since the 2016/17 season
The Catalan side have come out on top on eight out of 10 occasions. Alavés have recorded just a single victory.
Koeman not rushing key players back from injury
Tonight's starting XI shows that the Dutch coach is willing to make the necessary changes, bringing in Ilaix Moriba for his LaLiga debut.
Koeman focused on Alavés and not PSG or Neymar
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Ronald Koeman insists the match in LaLiga between Barcelona and Deportivo Alavés is more important to him than discussing Paris Saint-Germain or Neymar.
A huge Champions League last-16 tie between Barça and PSG begins at Camp Nou on Tuesday and Neymar has been ruled out against his former club through injury.
But Barça boss Koeman stressed the home Alavés match on Saturday was most important to him because it is what comes next.
"I don't think Neymar is an Alavés player," Koeman said when asked about the injury to the PSG forward.
"This is a question for Monday, not for today. I'm not talking about Neymar, I'm not talking about PSG.
"Saturday's game is more important than Tuesday's. We are going game by game and we want to continue our good streak.
"The result of the Sevilla game is there but we played a very good game. If we repeat the game, we do not lose.
Injuries and covid take toll as Atleti, Madrid and Barça contest LaLiga title race
Injuries and the pandemic are starting to take their toll in the Liga title race, with leaders Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Barcelona -- missing a number of key players this weekend.
Barcelona, meanwhile, have eight players out for tonight's visit of Alaves. The Catalans are third in the table, eight points off the pace having played a game more than Atleti.
It is a deficit that led manager Ronald Koeman to concede in recent weeks that the Copa del Rey was their best chance of silverware this season. However, they trail 2-0 to Sevilla after losing the semi-final first leg on Wednesday.
Barcelona starting XI vs Alavés
Plenty of changes tonight:
Ter Stegen - Mingueza, De Jong, Lenglet, Junior - Busquets, Riqui Puig, Ilaix Moriba - Trincao, Messi, Griezmann.
Messi closing in on Xavi's all-time appearance record
Leo Messi will make his 505th LaLiga appearance for Barcelona against Alavés, matching Xavi and leaving the Argentinean eight short of the overall record.
Messi’s statistics in LaLiga make for some reading: 373 victories, 83 draws and 48 defeats, with 457 goals scored across 40,700 minutes. The closest player to Messi in terms of games played is Sergio Busquets, with 398 in the league and 608 overall, placing the holding midfielder fourth in the all-time list behind Andrés Iniesta.
Team news on the way
Barcelona won’t be able to call upon Ansu Fati, Gerard Pique, Philippe Coutinho, Sergi Roberto, Ronald Araujo or Martin Braithwaite, while Miralem Pjanic and Sergiño Dest are both doubtful.
Samuel Umtiti’s poor performance against Sevilla could see him dropping to the bench, with Clément Lenglet taking his spot.
As for Abelardo’s men, defender Victor Laguardia will be back in action but Rodrigo Ely is still unavailable. On-loan
Manchester United winger Facundo Pellistri could make his debut against Barcelona.
Alavés are unlikely to make many changes to their lineup from their last match so Joselu and Lucas Pérez look set to lead the line once again.
Barcelona suffer Copa del Rey defeat to Sevilla
In the league, Barcelona are in a rich vein of form, winning all six games so far in 2021.
Midweek, they suffered a 2-0 defeat in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final against a strong Sevilla side. They have their work cut out to reach the final of this year's competition.
Alavés' recent form
The Basque side currently sit 16th in LaLiga. They've picked up four points from their last three games in the league, winning most recently against follow strugglers Valladolid.
Abelardo has returned to Mendizorroza for a second spell in the dugout and he'll be hoping to cause an upset against his former club tonight.
Barcelona seeking a seventh consecutive win in LaLiga
Ronald Koeman hopes his squad can extend their winning streak in the league, where they have won their last six games.
As the Wembley hero said in the pre-match press conference, Barcelona will have to deal with quite a few games in an intense month (Alavés, Cádiz, Elche and Sevilla), and among them probably the most important one against Paris Sant-Germain next week.
How to watch tonight's match
Find all the information you need below on how and where to watch Barcelona host Deportivo Alavés at Camp Nou (Barcelona) on 13 February at 21:00 CET.
AS English text commentary
You can also follow our live text commentary, with all the key statistics here on AS English, giving you a minute-by-minute account as it unfolds under the floodlights in Barcelona.
Hello and welcome!
Hello and welcome to AS English's live coverage of this LaLiga fixture as FC Barcelona host Deportivo Alavés at Camp Nou. Kick-off is at 21:00 CET.