Barcelona ended the month of August with a second consecutive victory in La Liga, this time a 2-0 win over Deportivo Alavés away from home. The Blaugrana needed to wait a while to find the net, but Lionel Messi provided a second half brace after missing a penalty in the first half. It was another solid performance from Ernesto Valverde’s men and another comfortable victory with very little trouble. Not too shabby.
From the start the Blaugrana had to face a parked bus with almost every Alavés player behind the ball, and they needed patience and accuracy to find spaces and chances, and in the first 10 minutes they created some good opportunities to shoot but couldn’t really trouble goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco.
Alavés only troubled Ter Stegen once when Rubén Sobrino was through on goal and one on one with the Barça keeper, but Stegen pulled off a superb save with his left foot. A few minutes later, Gerard Piqué won a penalty in the box, but Lionel Messi failed to convert from the spot as Pacheco made a superb fingertip save to keep Leo from scoring.
At halftime, Barça weren’t at their best but still had chances to score, and they needed to improve their finishing in the second half.
The second half started just like the first, with Barça having the ball in Alavés’ half and trying to create something, but this time they got the goal. Ten minutes into the period, Lionel Messi fired a shot that deflected off Alexis and beat Fernando Pacheco to put Barça ahead. Messi would score again 10 minutes later when a poor clearance from Alexis hit Paco Alcácer and fell to Leo, who easily doubled Barça’s lead with a shot to the corner.
The last few minutes featured the debut of Paulinho, who came on for the last five minutes and completed a few passes. He looked really happy to be playing for Barça, which is nice.
Alavés: Pacheco; Vigaray, Alexis, Ely, Pedraza; Manu; Romero, Wakaso (Enzo), Pina, Ibai (Burgui); Sobrino (Santos)
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Piqué, Umtiti, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta (Paulinho); Vidal (Alcácer), Messi, Deulofeu (Denis)
Goals: Messi (55’, 66’)