Osasuna 0-2 Barcelona: result, summary, goals
Osasuna-Barcelona: as it happened
Osasuna 0-2 Barcelona: match report
Barça continued their rampant run of domestic form to beat Osasuna 2-0 away from home on Saturday and move to within two points of La Liga leaders Atlético Madrid, with Lionel Messi setting up goals scored by Jordi Alba and teenager Ilaix Moriba.
Messi helped Barça take the lead on the half-hour mark when he carved open Osasuna's defence with a superb cross-field ball to Alba, who controlled before blasting into the roof of the net.
He then laid the ball off when 18-year-old midfielder Ilaix struck in the 83rd minute, producing a confident finish inside the post from outside the area to score his first goal for the club in only his third league appearance.
The victory followed Barça's heroic second leg comeback win over Sevilla to reach the Copa del Rey final on Wednesday and notched a 13th league win in 16 games, while they are unbeaten since losing at Cádiz on 5 December.
The Catalans stay second but moved on to 56 points after 26 games, two points behind Atlético Madrid who have played 24 matches and host third-placed Real Madrid on Sunday. Osasuna are 13th on 28.
Osasuna put up good fight
Perhaps still feeling the effects of the 3-0 win over Sevilla after extra time, Barça took a while to settle and nearly went behind in the second minute. They were spared thanks to the first of three impressive saves from Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
The German had to scurry back to stop an audacious attempt from Osasuna's Jonathan Calleri, who went for goal from his own half. He also made a truly outstanding save to deny Kike Barja later in the first period, flying to his top right hand corner and throwing up his left hand to swat the ball away.
With Barça then leading through Alba's vicious strike, Ter Stegen rescued the visitors for a third time, denying midfielder Ruben Garcia from close range. (Reporting by Richard Martin
Peep, peep, peeeep! The whistle goes and it's all over.
Barça may be two up and into added time but that doesn't stop Messi taking a dribble down the field. The Argentine works his way to the edge of the Osasuna box before feeding Puig.
The youngster cuts back inside but can't find a killer pass.
Three minutes to be added.
The recently introduced Adrian is involved straight away and hits a powerful effort towards goal. That's actually not true, it's well, well over the bar.
Firpo's first action is to make friends with the ref.
Pedri and Alba both going off. They're replaced by Ricard Puig and Junior Firpo.
Are we starting to see more and more of a new, young Barça?
We have a stop in play just now as Jordi Alba receives some treatment. Looks like he'll be forced to go off.
Enric on for Torres; Oier on for Torro
CLOSE! Messi squeezes through the crowd and almost gets a shot away. Faint claims for a penalty.
CHANCE! Messi lifts a ball over the last defender, the Argentine already inside the area and with space at a premium - but Alba races onto it and almost manages to knock the ball past the closing Herrera.
The keeper spreads himself well to block.
PING! Pedri tries his luck with a first-time curler from distance but it's straight into the hands of Herrera.
Ilaix plays a very accurate through ball that Dest sprints onto and reaches. The American, however, was travelling too fast for him to stop and control the ball sufficiently well enough to play across goal.
Penalty shout for Osasuna
A high cross to the back post sees Budimir flying through the air and claiming a big push by Alba. At best it was a slight nudge, and nothing was ever going to be given for that.
Calleri is heading off after that chance. Budimir comes on.
Ruben Garcia is also off, Adrian replacing him
CHANCE!! An even better one this as Calleri meets the cross and directs it wide of the left upright with his head.
Ter Stegen was stranded, and that should have been the equaliser.
CHANCE!! A wonderful free-kick is whipped inswinging into the Barça area and Lenglet does brilliantly to get there first and knock it away for a corner.
Barça double sub:
Busquets off for Ilaix Moriba
Griezmann off for Braithwaite
A Messi free-kick tends to provide problems for the opposition but the one we've just seen we'll pop in the 'surprising' folder.
CHANCE! Garcia almost reaches a ball played across the Barça area but a sharp Jordi Alba is wise to it and gets there first.
Barça on the break. Dembélé bursting away down the centre of the field.
He lays if off to his striking compatriot but Griezmann's options are closed off and Osasuna bring the ball away.
Barja was a decent goal threat early on but his number is up. Jony comes on.
From that Lenglet clearance comes a chance for De Jong but the Dutchman is at full stretch when slipped into the inside right channel and can't get a clean striker away.
Barça have a throw in their own right-back position, near the corner flag, and Osasuna have pushed plenty players forward to make it hard for them to clear.
It works well and the hosts win the ball back and almost fashion a shooting chance before Lenglet covers and clears.
Dembélé makes good progress down the right but, as he's prone to do, his decision to either cross or dribble seems to confuse his moving legs and he does neither.
As it stands at the top
Two points the difference with the Madrid derby tomorrow.
Possession has been switching back and forth as the game seems to be opening up even more. Both sides know the importance of this second goal and both are showing signs of going for it.
Ouchie! A powerful strike from Dembélé hits Aridane and the 31-year-old Spaniard needs a moment or two to gather himself. Potentially a post-match interview a few octaves higher.
Apologies. I failed to mention that Dembélé came on a couple of minutes ago to replace Umtiti.
SAVE! Herrera called into action as Messi finishes that period of concise play with a strike from just outside the 18-yard box.
It's a clean effort, low and hard, but the keeper dives to his left and blocks away to safety.
The hosts get us going but Barça don't waste any time winning possession and spend the next couple of minutes knocking the ball around the midfield.
We're off again!
Teams are back out for the second half. Let's see what they have in store for us.
That Messi-to-Alba assist
I don't think my earlier words did justice to the pass from Messi for the goal.
You can see from the image from our very own Mr Chip the moment the pass was made and where Alba was. The result was a perfectly-weighted curl into the Spanish full-back's path.
Barcelona have the lead at the break but have hardly had this game their own way.
Osasuna have played well, and created some cracking chances that could have seen this game looking very, very different. But they have come up against an inspired Ter Stegen.
Koeman's men, on the other hand, were the more effective and opened the scoring with their first shot on goal - a Jordi Alba belter that beat Sergio Herrera from a tight angle.
I'm expecting a very interesting second half ahead!
Peeeep! That's the end of the action for now. The players head down the tunnel...
A slick Barça move, started when Dest was sent scampering down the right, finds its way to the feet of Messi, just outside Osasuna's area.
The Argentine feigns then lays off a pass, but none of his teammates were on the same wavelength and the ball is cleared.
One minute to be added.
Messi fances a run at the hosts and manages to find space to pull the trigger. There are enough bodies back though - almost as if they knew this lad could cause them some problems - and a solid block made.
Umtiti better watch himself. Another foul catches the ref's attention but no action taken other than a free kick.
As OptaJose kindly informs us, Messi has provided eight assists in Jordi Alba's last 16 goals!
A few minutes of Osasuna possession shows the confidence running through this team. The hosts have done a good job of limiting Barça's attempts - one notable exception - and have had the best of the chances thus far.
SAVE!!! Another brilliant stop from Ter Stegen keeps his side ahead.
Ruben Garcia with the most delicious control of a lofted cross-ball takes him past Mingueza and leaves him faced up with the keeper. His low drive is blocked.
Would have been a beauty!
Nothing looks on as Messi has the ball in the middle of the park. But the Argentine, seemingly telepathically, senses the run from his regularly partner-in-goals and drops a ball over the top of the backline into his path.
Alba does brilliantly to push the ball on a few metres further before letting rip with a thunderous strike high into the net from a fairly tight angle. Herrera had no chance.
It's Torres again to deliver but it's Ter Stegen again who towers above the rest to punch clear.
Umtiti into the book first today, a sliding challenge with studs up more than frowned upon by Guillermo Cuadra.
Chance for Osasuna to fill the box.
Griezmann has a chance as Messi curls in a tempting cross from the left corner of the area. The striker just beats the defender to it but cannot direct it on target.
A Torres corner is fired in on top of Ter Stegen and the keeper shows his dominance by rising and swapping it away with his right fist.
The hosts may take some positive vibes from the previous let-off.
RED CARD shown to Osasuna keeper Herrera who tries to beat Messi to a through ball but handled it (and clattered the player) as the Argentine knocked it round him.
After a quick check with VAR, the card is rescinded as the Barça man was offside when the pass was played.
You could hear the 'phew' from the home side.
Corner to Barça, won by Messi, is worked short then wasted.
CHANCE!! The corner is played into the crowded six yard box and Calleri is fairly free to rise and head goalwards.
He doesn't get enough purchase on it and glances it wide. A very decent chance.
SAVE!! What a save for Ter Stegen (photo to follow)
A lovely turn away from the covering players just outside Barça's area is followed by a curling effort towards the top corner by Barja. The German throws himself to turn it away for a corner.
Osasuna stringing a few nice passes together across the middle of the park but it's not taking them anywhere.
Barça win the ball back and Jordi Alba, deep down the line, has time to dink in a cross. It's a fairly lame effort and headed away by the first defender.
Griezmann on the ball this time at the edge of his opponent's area, looks up to assess his options.
Some decent movement in the box tempts him to play a chipped ball but it's not at anyone in particular and is headed clear.
Ouchie! A loud scream from Roberto Torres has Griezmann looking guilty as the ref trotts across.
It's a reckless flying lunge from the French striker but he doesn't seem to make too much contact, just the toe of the defender. No card.
Neat play from Dest and Messi gives the American a chance to play in a teammate from the right.
His ball across, I think trying to find his number 10 again, is weak and easily taken away.
A second attempt to break down the hosts' backline is broken up again and Calleri, well inside his own half, tries to catch out the big German, who had strayed out to the edge of his area.
Some steady back-tracking from the keeper leaves him with an easy enough catch. Nice effort though from the Osasuna man.
Immediately the visitors look to move forward but are closed down well and forced all the way back to Ter Stegen. Let's see how quickly they can set the flow.
Peeep! Barça get us going.
Right, the teams are taking to the field and we're almost ready to get going.
Barça playing in their bright yellow kit, Osasuna in their red-blue combo.
Messi-Frenkie card warning
Both Lionel Messi and Frenkie de Jong are on four yellow cards and if they are booked in Pamplona will miss next weekend's game against Huesca.
If I was a betting man, I'd put a small wager on them both finding their way into the referee's book sometime in the second half.
A noticeable difference from many teams is that the blaugrana have a considerable number scored from the left foot. I wonder why that may be the case...
Shout out to our friends at SofaScore for their graphic support. If stats are your thing, check out their excellent website.
Barça's back three
Ronald Koeman only has three available centre halves and has stuck them all in the heart of his defence tonight.
Up front he'll look once again for Griezmann to demonstrate why the club spent so much money on him, something we've only seen small glimpses of. Dembélé gets a little rest.
From the 23 goals scored by the hosts in the league, almost all have come from inside the penalty area, but none from the spot.
Osasuna vs Barcelona: compared
The season thus far shows the type of stats you may expect. Assuming the game plays out to form, with the hosts giving up plenty of possession, Los Rojillos will have to be more efficient with the chances that they create.
The reverse fixture saw Barça run out comfortable 4-0 winners with four different goalscorers on the day.
Osasuna’s all-time LaLiga record against Barcelona stands at: W16, D17, L44 (GD -102). The average losing margin since the war has been by 2.76 goals.
Los Rojillos understandably have been dominated by the mighty Barça, but that counts for little tonight.
Barcelona: starting XI
Ter Stegen; Dest, Mingueza, Lenglet, Umtiti, Jordi Alba; De Jong, Busquets, Pedri; Griezmann, Messi
Osasuna: starting XI
Herrera, Nacho Vidal, Aridane, David García, Manu Sánchez, Torró, Moncayola, Roberto Torres, Barja, Rubén García, Calleri
Right, it looks as though the team news is just coming in. The hosts first...
Where they sit: Barcelona
Second place (on the same points as Real Madrid) was quite a way off top spot just a few weeks ago, with most observers nailing on Atleti as this season's champions.
But a few unexpected results for Diego Simeone's Luis-Suárez-enhanced side has allowed the 'big two' to creep back into contention. A win tonight for Barça would close the gap to just two points (having played a couple of games more) and tomorrow sees the Madrid derby take place at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Where they sit: Osasuna
With 25 games already passed, the Navarre club can't be too disappointed with a spot near the middle of the table, seven wins and seven draws providing them with those 28 points.
That said, it's not a big gap to the releation zone, six points ahead of kick-off, and so things could quickly change.
Ronald Koeman and co made the 400 or so kilometre journey from Barcelona to Pamplona earlier and here you can see their masks smiles and waves as they pitched up at their base for the evening.
Never give up the fight
There are a number of the so-called smaller clubs that quite like the idea of never giving up on the fight as their slogan. Maybe when Osasuna are battling it out year in, year out at the top they'll consider something like, 'we colour football'.
Hello and a warm LaLiga welcome to our live coverage of Saturday evening's fixture in Pamplona.
FC Barcelona are the visitors to El Sadar as they look to keep up the chase on league leaders Atlético Madrid (more on them later). The hosts on the other hand will be fighting till the end to secure some points against their more illustrious guests as they continue to maintain a safe distance from the drop zone.
Our build-up starts here and team news will be with us shortly...