Barcelona’s unbeaten run in La Liga continues as the Blaugrana reached 12 games without a loss thanks to their seventh consecutive victory, this time a 5-1 destruction of Alavés at Camp Nou. Barça played a beautiful match and scored some really good goals, and afforded to rest some players ahead of the Champions League in three days. A great night all around.
Barça were dominant from start to finish in the first half, committing plenty of bodies forward against an Alavés defense that were going to park the bus and hope to find joy on the counter. As always these types of games require patience, and Barça needed it early on as the visitors looked solid and organized.
Alavés also looked threatening on the counter, and Marc-André ter Stegen needed to make an important save in the 27th minute. Two minutes later, Barça found a breakthrough: Óscar Mingueza made a good run and put a dangerous cross into the box, and the ball found Ilaix Moriba who set up Francisco Trincão for the opening goal.
Barça scored again five minutes later through Lionel Messi after the captain poached on a rebound after an Antoine Griezmann miss, but Griezmann was offside in the buildup and the goal was disallowed by VAR. Just before halftime, however, the second goal finally came: Messi fired a rocket into the bottom corner, and the ball hit the post before going in.
At halftime, Barça were dominant and deserved the lead. They just needed to finish the job in the second half.
Barça continued to be the dominant side to start the second half, and they continued to attack and find spaces against Alavés who couldn’t defend as well anymore. Just as it looked like Barça were ready to score the third, Ilaix Moriba made a bad pass in his own half and gifted Luis Rioja a one-on-one chance with Ter Stegen, and Alavés had a goal back.
All of a sudden the game felt nervous and this had the potential to be a disaster, but Barça were not affected by the goal and remained on the front foot, pressuring with and without the ball and creating more chances with a few beautiful passages of play involving great passing and movement in the final third.
Then came the goals: first it was Trincão who got his second of the game after following up on a Messi attempt that was blocked by the keeper, then Messi got to double his own tally by scoring a golazo from outside the box. Just five minutes later, a gorgeous team move ended with a Griezmann assist and a tap-in for Junior Firpo, and Barça turned a potentially nervous second half into a blowout.
The final whistle came to end an excellent performance by Barça, who recover from the Sevilla loss in style with a complete game and some truly great goals. The streak continues in the league, and Europe is next.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Mingueza (Dest 71’), De Jong (Pjanic 71’), Lenglet, Firpo; Moriba (Pedri 64’), Busquets (Umtiti 46’), Puig; Trincão, Messi, Griezmann (Dembélé 81’)
Goals: Trincão (29’, 74’), Messi (45’+1, 75’), Firpo (80’)
Alavés: Pacheco; Martín (Laguardia 46’), Rodríguez, Lejeune, Duarte; Méndez, Battaglia, Pina (Pons 72’), Córdoba (Rioja 46’); Joselu (Sainz 81’), Pérez (Deyverson 81’)
Goal: Rioja (57’)