VIL
BCN
93'
FULL TIME: Villarreal 0-1 Barcelona
91'
Giovani puts a skidding cross into the centre of the Barcelona box, looking for his teammate Vieto, but Bravo lets the ball run and wastes a few more seconds, with the away side holding out for the win.
90'
Three minutes of stoppage time to be played.
89'
Good chance for Neymar! Maybe for the first time tonight Alves plays a good cross from the right side, but his Brazilian international teammate puts his header over the bar from six yards.
88'
They got in each others way! Messi plays a clever little pass to the near post from the byline but Sandro and Neymar both leave it to the other and the ball rolls through both of them!
86'
Good chance for Vieto! Poor defending from Mathieu presents the Villarreal newbie with a chance 10 yards out, but he gets a bit excited and slices his effort wide of the target. So disappointing.
85'
That's ambitious. Villarreal are now flooding forward in search of an equaliser, but Trigueros fires well over the bar when he had better options on either side.
84'
 
That might actually have hit the post! A Villarreal corner kick is flicked on to the back post, where Dos Santos is coming on to the ball, but his powerful strike clips the outside of the woodwork at the near post.
83'
You got the feeling that a goal was coming, but it could have gone to either side. As it is, it's Barcelona who have the opening goal.
82'
 
GOAL! Villarreal 0 Barcelona 1 (82 mins - Sandro Ramirez). Barca have the breakthrough! Messi gets in behind the defence and cuts back to poke through a shot. Asenjo gets something on it but Sandro is on hand to finish.
Barcelona Goal

Left Footed - Bottom Center

81'
Neymar bursts to the byline down the right side and pulls back a cut back which finds Messi, but his shot is charged down by Ruiz, and not for the first time tonight. What effort from the defender.
80'
These two teams have pressed hard in this second half. It may still be goalless but it has been an entertaining game. Will we see an opener? Will it be a piece of magic or a mistake that produces it?
78'
That Messi shot was actually deflected wide by Ruiz, who threw himself at the effort to get anything on the ball. In the end it was enough to stop Barcelona from most likely taking the lead.
77'
 
Now Barcelona hit the post! Prolonged pressure on the edge of the Villarreal box sees Alves pick out Messi, who has pulled back from his marker. But his shot strikes the outside of the post.
76'
Barcelona are playing a lot of cross-field passes now, trying to shift the Villarreal defence back in force in an attempt to unsettle them and find a way through. But still they hold firm.
Barcelona Substitution
75'
It's been a disappointing night for Rafinha, who didn't really impose himself on the game. Now Xav has 15 minutes to pick open the Villarreal defensive lock. The game is looking more open now.
74'
 
Barcelona sub: Rafinha OFF, Xavi ON.
73'
That was a warning for Barcelona. Just when it looked like they might be finally taking a grip of the game, Villarreal hit the post. They look dangerous when they go forward, which has been a feature of the second half.
72'
 
Villarreal hit the post! Pina takes control of the ball on the edge of the box and has time to pick his spot. But his shot pings off the inside of Bravo's left hand post. The rebound is then smashes across the face of goal.
71'
Neymar should have at least tested the goalkeeper! Alves plays a low cross into the box for the Brazilian, who has pulled away from his marker, but he scoops his effort over the bar.
70'
 
Barcelona sub: Pedro Rodriguez OFF, Sandro Ramirez ON.
Barcelona Substitution
Villarreal Substitution
69'
 
Villarreal sub: Cani OFF, Javier Espinosa ON.
68'
Scramble on the goalline! Messi breaks in behind the Villarreal backline and tries to squeeze in a shot from a tight angle. Asenjo makes the save, with Neymar following up. But the Brazilian shoots straight into Ruiz, who has fallen over on the line.
67'
Messi should have scored. From the corner kick he won with his freekick effort the smallest man on the pitch is unmarked, and he manages to plant his free header wide of the target.
65'
Great save by Asenjo! Messi shoots at goal from a freekick about 25 yards out. The effort looked to be heading just wide but the Villarreal keeper made sure with a diving save to his left.
Villarreal Substitution
64'
 
Villarreal sub: Denis Cheryshev OFF, Luciano Vietto ON.
63'
So Neymar comes on for his first appearance since that World Cup quarter-final against Colombia, when he suffered a pretty nasty back injury. Will he be fully fit for tonight? Let's see, I suppose.
61'
Good chance for Mathieu! The corner kick comes into the penalty area, with the centre-back up from the back. But he skews his effort wide of the target. There wasn't much in that.
60'
Why didn't he have a shot? The ball is played to Rakitic at the back post, who has time to set himself for the effort, but decides to drag it across goal for a teammate and Villarreal make the interception.
59'
 
Barcelona sub: Munir El Haddadi OFF, Neymar ON.
Barcelona Substitution
Villarreal Substitution
58'
 
Villarreal sub: Jaume Costa OFF, Gabriel De Abreu ON
57'
Alba gets into a good position on the left and plants a lazy cross straight into the hands of Asenjo. The Barcelona left back is actually shaking his head in embarressment. That was terrible.
56'
Villarreal have just been to strong for Barcelona at the back. Rafinha and Munir haven't been able to make an impression on their stronger and more physical counterparts.
55'
Alba beats his man down the left and breaks into the box. The left back then clips a ball into the centre looking for Messi or one of his teammates but once again Villarreal clear the danger.
54'
Any time Barcelona try to make progress down the wings they come up against a Villarreal player. This time Pedro is stopped in his tracks by Trigueros, who makes a solid challenge.
53'
It looks like Marcelino has asked his side to be a bit more exansive in this second half and offer more of a threat in the final third. They are breaking much quicker and pushing Barca deeper.
51'
That gives us an idea of the threat Villarreal can carry. They do have quality in attack, and are unfortunate not to have gone 1-0 up there.
50'
 
Woodwork! A cross from the left by Trigueros forces Mathieu to stick out a leg to prevent it from reaching Giovani, with the ball rebounding off the post with Bravo completely stranded.
49'
Here comes another cross from Alves. And once again, it's cleared by the much taller Villarreal backline. Why are they sticking with this approach? Messi is never going to win any of these crosses!

Barca just the 75% possession away at Villarreal in first half. Nine shots, four on target, one off post [via @WhoScored ] [zero goals too]

47'
Well, it looks like Alves hasn't changed his approach anyway. The Barcelona full-back has just clipped a cross straight into the arms of Asenjo in the Villarreal goal. He only had Messi to aim for!
46'
So how will Barcelona approach this second half? Will they remain patient going forward or will they switch to a more direct way of playing? They need to test Asenjo more often in goals.
45'
The second half is under way at the El Madrigal!
-
What did you make of the first half? Let me know on Twitter. Is it time for Enrique to throw on Neymar in favour of one of the youngsters, Rafinha and Munir? Tweet me!

The latest from Graham Ruthven (@grahamruthven). I write about football/soccer/fußball/fútbol (delete as appropriate). Pronounce my name however you want

45'
HALF TIME: Villarreal 0-0 Barcelona. Not much to talk about from that half. The home side have had to defend for much of the game but they might actually have had the best chance.
44'
What has been a surprise for me is the number of crosses Barcelona have played into the penalty area. This is what they were doing under Martino last season. I thought that had been left behind.
43'
This has turned into quite a feisty affair. Alves protests that he was hacked, pointing to stud marks on his thigh, but after badgering the assistant referee the Barcelona full-back is shown a booking.
42'
 
YELLOW CARD: Dani Alves (Barcelona)
40'
There's been quite a bit of cynical fouling on show from both teams tonight. It means that there has been little flow about the game. Difficult to get into or build any momentum from.
39'
Messi cuts inside and clips a neat cross into the centre of the Villarreal box for Munir to attack, but the teenager can't squirm clear of his markers and his header under pressure is glanced wide.
38'
Giovani plays a nice little reverse pass through after a Villarreal freekick, but Cheryshev takes the wrong option and decides to shoot for the near post. His effort goes well wide when he should have went across goal.
Barcelona Yellow card

Villarreal

Barcelona

37'
 
YELLOW CARD: Pedro Rodriguez (Barcelona)
35'
Musacchio sprints forward from the back, taking on one player and then two and then three, but he is stopped by Pique, who decides to go on a dribble himself. Great stuff. A purist's nightmare though.
34'
Enrique needs to get a grip of Alves at the break. Every time he gets the ball he has eiher taken a shot or slung a high cross into the box. He needs to start cutting inside and playing shorter passes.
33'
Much of Barcelona's attack has focussed on putting crosses into the box from the right side, but Villarreal ae finding it easy to head away the ball at every opportunity. They're just so much taller!
32'
Barca are still very good at slowing the pace of the game down and making sure that opponents can't hurt them, but what's missing about their performance is the ability to quicken it up again.
31'
Barcelona are taking the opportunity to slow down the pace of the game and regain control of the contest by knocking it about the midfield. This is what they do best though.
30'
Alves takes control of the ball 25 yards and sees the opportunity to line up a shot on goal. But the Brazilian full-back doesn't catch it right and the shot dribbles past the post.

So far this is the best game Alves has had in a while. Crossing well, pressing well, linking well.

28'
 
The shot hits the woodwork! Messi strikes the freekick towards goal from a tight angle, trying to catch out the keeper, but Asenjo tips the shot on to the post after a deflection off Trigueros.
26'
Rakitic takes control of a pass 10 yards inside the opposition half and plays the ball out to Alves for a cross to be played. The delivery does indeed come but Munir doesn't gamble on it and Ruiz heads away.
25'
Barcelona are still having the better of the play at the moment, but Giovani is starting to involve himself in the play and dictate Villarreal's attacking moves. And that's when the Yellow Submarine plays well.
24'
Pedro goes down under the challnge of Ruiz in the penalty area, but his claims for a spot kick are waved away by the referee. He made the most of any contact with the Villarreal defender.
23'
What a chance for the home side! Giovani whips in a bouncing cross to the back post, where the defender Ruiz is up from the back, but he somehow manages to knee the ball over the bar from close range.
22'
Rafinha brings down Bruno, with the referee initially reaching for his pocket to book the Barcelona youngster. But he decides against it and decided to give him a talking to instead.
21'
It wil be interesting to see if Barcelona do any business over the next 24 hours. Remember, the transfer embargo placed on them means that they won't be able to buy anyone else for another 16 months after tomorrow.
19'
But the question is, how long can Villarreal hold out? The Catalans will eventually break you down if you camp inside your own half for the entire game. Teams have tried it and failed.
18'
As Barcelona so often tend to do, they are dominating possession at the moment, but for as much as they are seeing the ball Villarreal are holding firm and showing good defensive responsibility.
17'
Of course, Munir scored a nice goal against Elche on his debut for Barcelona last week. He has made quite the impression at the Camp Nou, scoring four goals over the course of pre-season too.
16'
Rafinha and Munir are heavily involved in the game early on here at El Madrigal. The latter in particular is seeing a lot of the ball and linking up well with Messi as Barca look for the opener.
15'
A lapse in concentration allows Pedro in at goal, who throws in a stepover before shooting at goal. But his powerful effort is saved well by Asenjo, who pushes the shot over the bar and wide.
13'
Barcelona play a cross into the box from the right, which Musacchio deals with easily. Barca need to realise that anything slung into the box in the air is going to be cleared by the taller Villarreal defence.
12'
You could say that Rakitic is the new Xavi in this Barcelona team, but the Croatian carries much more of an attacking threat than his Spanish counterpart ever did. He is a goal threat.
11'
Rakitic comes forward from his starting position deep in the centre of midfield, but his shot from about 25 yards flies over the bar. We know he is much better than that.
10'
Cani looks to have been given something of a free role in this Villarreal team. He's now 33 years old and doesn't really involve himself in the defensive work against the Barca attack.
9'
Villarreal have pace on the counter attack through Giovani and Cheryshev, but the problem will be getting the ball to them. I expect the former will drop deep into midfield to see more of the possession.
8'
The pace to this game is lightning quick in the early stages of this game. And now Villarreal are playing their part on the counter attack as well.
7'
For the first time in the game Villarreal get a chance to come forward through Cani, who plays a square pass inside to Pina. But his pass over the top for Giovani is too strong and the ball drifts out of play.
6'
Good tackle by Musacchio! Alves plays a fizzed cross into the near post from the right side, with Munir looking to meet the pass, but the Villarreal centre-back comes across to make a challenge.
5'
Have Villarreal even had a touch of the ball in these opening five minutes? Barcelona are completely dominating the game as it is.
4'
And now Messi has a shot on goal. Pedro gets a pass to the Argentine at the second time of asking, who takes a good touch and gets a snapshot away, but Asenjo saves comfortably.
3'
First real sight of goal falls to Barcelona, with a Rakitic corner kick falling to the edge of the box following a clearance. But Munir sticks his shot wide of the target. Asenjo had it covered.
2'
Barcelona have started the better of the two teams, passing with the ball around with confidence. But when Alves whips the ball into the penalty area Ruiz is on hand to clear he danger.
1'
We're under way at the El Madrigal! It's Villarreal against Barcelona.
17:55
Pre-match odds: Villarreal 7/2, Draw 11/4, Barcelona 3/4
17:50
TEAM NEWS: Villarreal - Asenjo, Mario, Musacchio, Ruiz, Jaume Costa, Pina, Bruno, Trigueros, Cani, Cheryshev, Giovani. /// Barcelona - Bravo, Alves, Pique, Mathieu, Alba, Busquets, Rakitic, Rafinha, Pedro, Munir, Messi.
17:45
I'm Graham Ruthven and you can get in touch with me ahead of the game to let me know your thoughts. Can Villarreal build on their impressive finish last season? Are Barcelona title favourites? Tweet me!

The latest from Graham Ruthven (@grahamruthven). I write about football/soccer/fußball/fútbol (delete as appropriate). Pronounce my name however you want

17:40
Good evening and welcome to Eurosport's LIVE coverage of the Spanish Liga game between Villarreal and Barcelona. We'll bring you all the action and goals as they go in at the El Madrigal. Kick-off: 18:00.

Starting Line-ups

Villarreal
Barcelona
    • 1
      Asenjo
    • 11
      Jaume Costa
    • 6
      Ruiz
    • 5
      Musacchio
    • 2
      Mario
    • 14
      Manu Trigueros
    • 21
      C
      Bruno
    • 4
      Pina
    • Cheryshev
    • dos Santos
    • Cani
Team Manager:  Marcelino García Toral
    • Pedro
    • 10
      C
      Messi
    • 17
      El Haddadi
    • 4
      Rakitic
    • 5
      Busquets
    • 12
      Rafinha
    • 6
      Dani Alves
    • 3
      Piqué
    • 24
      Mathieu
    • 18
      Alba
    • 13
      Bravo
Team Manager:  Luis Enrique
Substitutes
Players Sub Time
Substitutes
Players Sub Time
Goalkeepers
GOALKEEPERS
Goalkeepers G SAV GC GK FC FS Y R PEN Mins
S. AsenjoDFP
0 6 1 16 0 0 0 0 0 90
Defenders
DEFENDERS
Defenders G GA SHO TA CLR COR FC FS Y R PEN Mins
V. RuizDFP
0 0 1 1 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 90
MarioDFP
0 0 0 4 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 90
M. MusacchioDFP
0 0 0 3 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 90
Jaume CostaDFP
0 0 0 4 2 0 3 0 0 0 0 59
Gabriel PaulistaDFP
0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 31
Midfielders
MIDFIELDERS
Midfielders G GA SHO PAS FK COR FC FS Y R PEN Mins
T. PinaDFP
0 0 1 23 0 0 2 3 0 0 0 90
Manu TriguerosDFP
0 0 1 25 0 1 2 1 0 0 0 90
BrunoDFP
0 0 0 34 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 90
J. EspinosaDFP
0 0 1 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 20
Forwards
FORWARDS
Forwards G GA SHO PAS FK COR FC FS Y R PEN Mins
G. dos SantosDFP
0 0 1 21 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 90
CaniDFP
0 0 0 26 0 0 4 1 0 0 0 70
D. CheryshevDFP
0 0 1 17 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 65
L. ViettoDFP
0 0 1 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 25
Goalkeepers
GOALKEEPERS
Goalkeepers G SAV GC GK FC FS Y R PEN Mins
C. BravoDFP
0 0 0 6 0 0 0 0 0 90
Defenders
DEFENDERS
Defenders G GA SHO TA CLR COR FC FS Y R PEN Mins
G. PiquéDFP
0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 90
J. AlbaDFP
0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 90
Dani AlvesDFP
0 0 1 2 0 0 2 2 1 0 0 90
J. MathieuDFP
0 0 1 2 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 90
Midfielders
MIDFIELDERS
Midfielders G GA SHO PAS FK COR FC FS Y R PEN Mins
S. BusquetsDFP
0 0 0 89 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 90
I. RakiticDFP
0 0 1 99 0 7 2 2 0 0 0 90
RafinhaDFP
0 0 1 56 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 75
XaviDFP
0 0 0 24 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 15
Forwards
FORWARDS
Forwards G GA SHO PAS FK COR FC FS Y R PEN Mins
L. MessiDFP
0 0 5 60 2 2 0 2 0 0 0 90
PedroDFP
0 0 1 30 0 0 2 1 1 0 0 70
M. El HaddadiDFP
0 0 2 14 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 59
NeymarDFP
0 0 3 14 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 31
S. RamírezDFP
1 0 1 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 20
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