Barcelona punished by late Cádiz penalty
Barcelona vs Cádiz: as it happened
A game of missed chances and two spot kicks
Barcelona 1-1 Cádiz: Match report
Lionel Messi marked his record 506th appearance for Barcelona in LaLiga by scoring a penalty but the Catalans could only draw 1-1 with Cádiz on Saturday after conceding a spot-kick late on.
The Argentine overtook former team mate Xavi Hernández in the all-time list of Barca appearances in the league and opened the scoring in the 32nd minute by calmly passing the ball into the bottom corner from the spot after Pedri had been tripped by Cádiz's Iza.
Fielding the same starting XI that had been thrashed 4-1 at home to Paris St Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday, a rusty looking Barça failed to build on their lead and paid the price when Clement Lenglet gave away a penalty for striking Cádiz forward Ruben Sobrino as he tried to clear the ball.
Cádiz's Alex Fernandez made no mistake from the spot in the 89th minute to disrupt Barça's run of seven straight league wins as the Catalans failed to take advantage of LaLiga leaders Atlético Madrid's surprise 2-0 defeat by Levante a day earlier.
Barça are third in the standings on 47 points, trailing leaders Atlético by eight points and second-placed Real Madrid by five points.
Cádiz are 14th on 25 points. (Richard Martin reporting)
Two points lost for Barça
A useful point for Cádiz
Peep, peep, peeeeeep! It's all over!
We've passed the five minutes and the whistle must be about to blow.
Messi and Alba combine as they so often do but the yellow wall holds firm.
Then Trincao is played in to a dangerous position but flagged offside.
After letting the play continue after a challenge, Piqué (now centre forward as is customary in these situations) is played in.
He controls well and fires goalwards but the ball thuds off the big spread of Ledesma. Can Cádiz hold out?
We'll have five additional minutes
PENALTY TO CÁDIZ!!
Lenglet tries to volley clear inside his area but instead clips Sobrino who gets to the ball first. Oh dear!
CLOSE!! Mingueza is in a great position to strike goalwards but, maybe remembering he's a defender, he turns back and lays off to Puig.
The youngster curls a delightful effort towards the right-hand post but it's just the wrong side. Nearly there Barça.
Nice one-two between Messi and Braithwaite appeared to have the captain in on goal but he goes down easily under some pressure.
That could have killed the game.
Mingueza and Puig are ON
Dembélé and Dest making way
Los Amarillos are really struggling to get anywhere when they have possession. They are quickly closed down down, have too few options for the pass, and are back defending in seconds.
CLOSE! Messi fires in a sweet strike from outside the area but it flies just over the bar. Barça have now had 21 shots on goal which is just the 20 more than their guests.
As you can see though, the score is still just a dodgy deflection away from points lost.
Messi not happy that an arm was used against the ball to prevent him progressing forward and calls for the ref to book him. No action taking, but he has a free-kick.
Immediately Cervera makes another change:
Jens Jonsson replaces Perea.
Koeman yanks off Pedri and throws on Trincao.
CLOSE! Messi on the end of another dinked pass - something the blaugrana have tried several times to defeat the tight defence - but just can't keep the volley down under-pressure and on the stretch.
Dembélé sneaks in again and fires off a shot. This time he finds space between bodies but drags the effort well wide of the left post.
It's about time Cádiz started to push for a leveller, clearly taking more risks at the back.
Barça double change: Braithwaite and Pjanic come on for Griezmann and Busquets
Cádiz change: Sanchez Ponce OFF, Marcos Pombo ON
CHANCE! Dembélé with a mazy run looks to have opened up a shooting opportunity but the space is closed each time.
The winger eventually shoots but the block prevails.
SAVE!! It's a brilliant stop from Ledesma at the feet of Griezmann after Messi had laid it off. Brave keeping.
Jose Mari, Lozano and Fernandez ON
Izquierdo, Negredo and Garrido OFF
A clear example of the challenge facing the visitors as the ball is won back then just booted down the line as far as possible to get a breather.
That passage of play ends with Dembélé getting bored and taking a pot shot from distance. At first his effort looked positive but it quickly swerved well wide.
Maybe I spoke too soon. Los Amarillos have fallen back into their defensive comfort zone as Barça pass the ball around in front of them looking for an opening.
Messi decides to go for a solo run through the heart of the Cádiz defence, but as he enters the box and shoots, Carcelen knocks the ball away.
Great defending although it did mean that the defender felt the force of the Argentine's strike instead of the ball. More ouch!
Griezmann now finds himself in a good position in the Cádiz penalty area. His clip across goal allmost finds Pedri but is well blocked and cleared.
This second half already looks more open/balanced.
CLOSE! Following that foul, the free-kick is swung in from the right touchline and as it breaks Fali drives it just wide of the goal.
Play is stopped after Lenglet stamps, unintentionally it seems, on Negredo's foot. Ouchie!
Immediately Cádiz show some positivity. From kick-off they work it down the left and Perea delivers into the area, although it's gathered comfortably by a big German wearing gloves.
The second half is go...
OK, the players are slowly making their way back out onto the Camp Nou turf.
What can we expect? More of the same? Let's find out...
Just the penalty from Messi differentiating these sides at the break, at least on the scoreboard.
In truth it has been the expected one-way traffic from the hosts, as they face up against a wall of yellow shirts. That wall, however, has been breached on a few occasions and Cervera will have to decide whether it's worth sticking to the plan or taking a more adventurous approach in the second half.
Barça have proven themselves to be vulnerable if you get at them, but unless Negredo can offer better hold up play then they're going to have very few opportunities to convert on the counter. Potentially a more balanced approach could bear more fruit for the visitors.
The whistle blows and the players head down the tunnel.
Cádiz look to break at speed but Negredo decides to hand possession back to his hosts with a horrible pass.
Dembélé thanks him and works some space before attempting to find a final pass, which he fails to do. That should be the last action of the half.
Two minutes to be added on
Barça have the ball in the net once again. Once again it's ruled out for offside.
Great play from Dest gets him around Espino and at the second attempt his pass finds Pedri who fires home. Would have been nice...although nicer had Griezmann jumped out of the way of the first shot from De Jong (which is where the offside occurred)
Los Amarillos have fallen back into their 'parked bus' formation, which, to be honest, hasn't really frustrated their hosts as much as it should.
My guess is they just want to get to half-time now without losing a second and see what tricks Cervera has up his sleeve.
De Jong has the ball in the net but the flag goes up. Quick check of the replay shows that was the right decision.
Messi in the middle
CLOSE!! Cádiz incredibly almost equalise immediately.
Sobrino gets on the end of a knock back in front of Ter Stegen but just can't rearrange his body parts to direct it into the goal.
PENALTY BARÇA! Pedri nicks the ball away from two covering defenders and is fouled by Iza. Finger points to the spot.
SAVE!! One for the cameras from Ledesma as Messi takes matters into his own feet with a curling effort. Top save.
Tip tap, tip tap... Barça knock the ball around just outside the Cádiz penalty area, trying to lift it over the defence for the occasional run.
It's just very tight in there and the visitors are staying in shape.
Penalty appeal from Jordi Alba, which is rightly waved away by the ref, although he does have a quick check with his VAR team.
That rare attempt by the visitors to attack in numbers leads to the predictable counter from Barça.
Messi is the driving force behind it and with Dembélé and Griezmann either side of him he chooses the latter. The former Atleti striker takes a touch before shooting which allows the covering defender to get in front and block.
Sobrino gets away down the left touchline and also finds a space to deliver a cross before Dest knocks the ball away.
The play continues in Barça's third as Cádiz support rushes forward but Negredo's apparent inability to use his weaker foot makes it easy to defend and clear.
CHANCE!! Best opportunity of the game so far falls to Lionel Messi.
Busquets lays it through to the number 10 to run onto, and your money has to be on him finshing past Ledesma who sprints towards him.
The Barça man doesn't make a great connection with the ball and it bobbles wide, much to his own disgust.
Double chance for the hosts although neither clear cut.
Initially a cross into the area is partly dealt with by a stretching Ledesma. From the corner that came from it, Messi feeds Alba who shoots with power. Just wide.
Dest does well to get in down the inside right channel and fires a low cross into the area. There are enough yellow shirted players in the way to prevent the ball reaching Griezmann.
First chance for the visitors (although that is possibly being rather generous to the word 'chance').
A cross from Izquierdo on the left, obviously, is caught with relative ease by Ter Stegen. At least it gave the visitors' defence a breather.
Messi has a chance to bother Ledesma here as he lines up a free-kick on corner of the penalty area.
It's a nice enough curling strike from the Argentine but the keeper punches high into the air before catching.
Griezmann is helping Cádiz's chances of not conceding. Twice already the Frenchman has misplaced a pass just when Barça were looking for a clever touch.
Los Amarillos are really struggling to get on the ball in these early stages. As soon as a yellow shirt takes over possession he is swarmed by home players and quickly hands it back.
The Cádiz manager rubs his beard while sat in the dugout as Salvador Sanchez gets some treatment on the field.
Looks like he'll be alright to continue. I'll try to avoid too many Walking Dead references...
This already feels like one of those games where if you were sitting behind one of the goals you'd only really get to see around 45 minutes of the action.
Cervera has his side set up to be very compact in their own area. Keep it tight.
Barcelona get the ball rolling and immediately the yellow shirts of Cádiz fall into formation well inside their own half.
The hosts pop the ball around halfway inside their opponent's territory and then a lovely back flick from Pedri slips in Messi but he is muscled out of it.
OK, the players are out on the field and we're almost ready to go...
One player that has grabbed attention in the United States this season has been Sergiño Dest. The Barça full back is looking to offer the same penetration as Jordi Alba on the other flank.
Juan Martinez Munuera is our referee today.
What the managers said: Álvaro Cervera
“We have our way of attacking. There are obviously other ways to do so, but they tend to make our life more difficult. Other than [Alberto] Perea and the odd other player, we don’t have guys who can receive the ball with back to goal. The players we have are about speed.
"Off the top of my head, I can’t think of any options for shooting from range. Our attack depends on how we defend. If we don’t defend well, all our attacks are going to start with our goalkeeper. If we can steal possession and win duels, we’ll attack better.
"We’re not a team set up to attack defences that are already in position, other than the odd player here and there who has that in his locker. So we’re dependent on how we defend.” (Check out his full presser here)
What the managers said: Ronald Koeman
"The world does not end after one defeat. We have to analyse our mistakes and try to improve things, we need to talk and train," Koeman said when asked about the PSG loss.
"We lost a lot of balls, and we need to play with more intensity. I hope they (Barca's players) come out strong from this and can win the game to recover our confidence. The best thing after a defeat is having another game to get a good result.
"We are on a good run and we're still ambitious. We know what happened and we have to react."
Camp Nou ready
The pitch is in decent nick as we count down the final minutes ahead of the whistle blowing.
With both Barça and Madrid slipping up across this season, and Diego Simeone's side - with Luis Suárez doing the business up front - rolling along nicely, the idea that the rojiblancos wouldn't collect the title was an alien concept to many.
And just as Perseverance landed on Mars... things changed, as is nicely suggested by the always impresive Marselle.
Barça-Cádiz: season so far
A quick comparison of the two sides' campaigns to this point shows some clear, and rather understandable, differences.
The visitors are losing more than a goal and a half per game on average, while Barça are scoring more than two.
There is no doubt that possession is going to be primarily with Koeman's team today, with Cervera having been clear from early in the season that gaining points is more about being efficient when you have the ball rather than dominating control of it.
Cádiz: the walking dead?
As the more eagle eyed of you may have noticed from an earlier post, Cádiz have a new slogan after teaming up with Fox to promote their popular zombie series.
Check out this trailer which is set in rather familiar surroundings.
Barça and the new boys
In LaLiga, Barcelona have averaged a winning margin of 3.4 goals across their last ten home victories against newly-promoted teams.
Surely another one beckons then... It's not like they're playing a team of zombies that never know when to give up the fight. What? Oh...
Barça team news
Following that collapse against PSG in the Champions League midweek, Koeman and co cannot afford a slip up at home again today.
Messi, Griezmann, Dembélé and young Pedri have been given the responsibility to get the goals and make it a comfortable afternoon for the blaugrana, and they'll be ably supported by the likes of De Jong and Busquets.
Starting XI: Cádiz
Ledesma; Iza, Marcos Mauro, Fali, Espino; Salvi, Garrido, Jairo, Perea; Negredo, Sobrino
Starting XI: Barcelona
Ter Stegen; Dest, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba; Busquets, De Jong, Pedri; Dembélé, Messi, Griezmann
Guess what, team news is coming right up. First the home side...
Look who's arrived!
The Camp Nou is a special place to play, one of the iconic stadiums in the world, and these lads have been away from the top flight for a while.
A lack of fans no doubt diminishes the experience, but a good performance and result will make up for that.
As it stands: Cádiz
Sitting just above the relegation zone, and with some very poor results of late, it would be easy for us to forget that Los Amarillos won their previous meeting against today's opponents and they also recorded a win away to Real Madrid.
Can they upset the odds again? They'll certainly never give up the fight!
Casemiro keeps Madrid in the hunt
If you want to know how Barça's capital rivals got on yesterday then here's how it all went down.
As it stands: Barcelona
After Atlético Madrid losing at home to Levante and Real Madrid winning in Valladolid, a league title that had looked all but gone for the historic 'big two' appears more achievable now.
A win for Barça today will move them within six points of the leaders with the same games played.
Barça final training
The finishing touches were being put on the preparations for the Cádiz visit yesterday.
Barcelona vs Cádiz: welcome
Hello and a very warm welcome to you as we start our build-up to this lunchtime LaLiga offering that sees Barcelona host Cádiz at the Camp Nou.
There were two big results yesterday that concern the top of the table - more on that in a bit - but this encounter matters a huge deal for both sides. Kick-off is at 14:00 CET and the build-up starts here...