Sunday March 11, 2012 Day 27 Finished El Sardinero

Racing Santander 0 - 2 FC Barcelona

  • Messi 29’, 56’ (pen.)

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  1. Messi hits 30-goal mark in win over Racing

    Messi hits 30-goal mark in win over Racing

    Barcelona reduced the gap at the top of La Liga back to 10 points with a comfortable 2-0 win over Racing Santander at El Sardinero. More

  • Live Commentary

    Time:90'
    • Racing Santander
    • FC Barcelona
    • 90+3' The final whistle blows, and Barelona reduce the gap at the top of La Liga back to 10 points!
    • 90' Three minutes of added time are signalled by the fourth official.
    • 88' Even with just a couple of minutes left in this game, Barcelona's possession count still reads 72 per cent.
    • 87' Barca substitution: Adriano replaces Pedro.
    • 85' Pedro is played in with a lovely disguised through ball. He tries to lob the keeper but Mario is not fooled and makes the save easily.
    • 83' Barcelona substitution: Seydou Keita replaces Xavi.
    • 82' Valdes comes out to claim the corner but he drops a pretty simple catch! Diop is quickest to react but his shot doesn't make it through the bodies in the box.
    • 81' Alves is penalised for a leaping on to the back of a Racing player as he jumped for a header. Racing's free-kick leads to a corner.
    • 80' Another great run from Messi, but he is denied a hat-trick (for now?) by a combination of Mario and one of his defenders.
    • 78' Fabregas is sent tumbling after a foul in midfield. Barca will take the free-kick short and just keep possession.
    • 77' According to Infostrada, Messi has already scored 21 goals for Barca in this calendar year. It's the second week of March, for goodness sake!
    • 75' There is a new impetus in the Racing attack as the tired legs of Munitis have given way to Jairo. they are still struggling to get any shots away, though.
    • 73' Barcelona substitution: Cristian Tello replaces Cuenca.
    • 71' Racing have the ball in the back of the net, but the flag was up for offside against two players before Valdes was beaten.
    • 70' Racing substitution: Jairo replaces Munitis.
    • 69' Racing try to hit Barca on the break but Mascherano is across to tackle Adrian.
    • 68' Barca string together two dozen or so passes as they probe around the edge of box before Iniesta stumbles and Racing can clear.
    • 67' Papakouly Diop heads over from the corner for Racing.
    • 66' Victor Valdes screams at his team-mates to get organised as Barca defend Racing's first corner of the match.
    • 65' Mario saves a shot from Messi from the edge of the box and Racing manage to block the follow-up effort and scramble the ball clear!
    • 64' Racing have to be careful. Three of their four defenders are on yellow cards, and with the amount of possession Barca are enjoying they will do well not to commit too many more fouls.
    • 62' Racing substitution: Adrian replaces Colsa.
    • 60' Wonderful mazy run from Cuenca into the Racing box and he strikes a crisp shot against the near upright!
    • 58' Apologies, neglected to add Ronaldo's brace from yesterday. The Real Madrid man still leads the race for the Pichichi with 32 league goals this season.
    • 57' With that penalty, Messi has now scored 30 league goals this season, drawing him level with Cristiano Ronaldo!
    • 56' GOAL!! RACING 0-2 BARCA!! Messi strikes the penalty low into the bottom corner to double Barca's lead!
    • 55' PENALTY!! Two Racing players - Alvaro and Cisma booked for arguing with the officials over the decision to award the spot-kick after Fabregas was fouled by the latter in the box. Messi places the ball on the spot...
    • 54' Racing win the first two headers fromt he free-kick, but barca are able to win back possession and clear the ball all the way downfield.
    • 53' Munitis is fouled in midfield. Racing send plenty of men forward for the free-kick.
    • 51' Barcelona are looking to secure only their second clean sheet in their last nine away games in the league.
    • 49' Colsa is penalised for barging into Pedro when the Barca man half-stumbled into the Racing player. Xavi will fancy his chances from this free-kick... He fires it into the wall.
    • 48' Early chance for Barca with Pedro, whose cross/shot from the right is collected by Mario.
    • 46' The second half is underway!
    • HT Racing substitution: Cristian Stuani repalces Babacar.
    • 45+1' The whistle blows for half-time. Racing have been totally outplayed but they are still only a goal down.
    • 45' Just the one minute of added time to be played.
    • 44' Iniesta's shot from the edge of the box takes a big deflection and loops tamely into Mario's arms.
    • 43' Whistles ring around the ground as Barca play on despite Babacar down on the ground in pain. Eventually the referee stops play as Barca are building another attack.
    • 42' Mario srpints off his line to palm the ball away as Messi closes in on it. The ball breaks loose in the area but Racing manage to clear.
    • 40' Barca have lost just one of the previous 95 Liga matches in which Messi has scored has scored (v Atletico in March 2009).
    • 39' Racing clear the corner at the second attempt, but Barca stop them from launching a break.
    • 38' Pedro's low cross is put behind for a corner. This is Barca's fourth, while Racing are yet to take one.
    • 37' Arana tries the cheely dink over Puyol's head down by the touchline, but the Barca captain is wise to his idea and blocks with his head.
    • 36' Xavi almost threads it thorugh the eye of a needle for Fabregas, but Bernardo Espinosa intercpets in the nick of time with an outstretched leg.
    • 35' With just over half an hour gone, Barca have had 72 per cent of the possession thus far.
    • 33' Lionel Messi has won more games against Racing than any other team (10).
    • 31' Pedro hurtles down the left with the ball at his feet. He gets inside the box and bangs his strike intot he side netting! Almost a quickfire double for Barca there.
    • 30' That's goal number 29 in the league for Messi this season. Probably to least aesthetic goal he will get htis year.
    • 29' GOAL!! Xavi is tackled on the edge of the box but the ball loops up to Fabregas inside the area. Cesc fires a low ball across the face of goal and Messi is on hand to tap in from six yards out!
    • 28' Iniesta's control for once lets him down a touch in the area, allowing Francis to get across and do enough to put the Barca man off his shot.
    • 27' Barca play the ball all across the edge of the Racing box but Xavi's through pass runs out of play.
    • 25' Fabregas played into the box but Mario is off his line quickly to make the block! Corner to Barca.
    • 24' Busquets is known for his theatrics, but that looked geniunely painful. The Barca midfielder goes of the field for more treatment but should return soon enough.
    • 23' Babacar is the second player to see a yellow card flashed in his direction after he catches Sergi Busquets on the ankle with a late challenge.
    • 22' Sumptuous chip from Iniesta inside the area that leaves the keeper rooted to the spot but bounces off the top of the crossbar!
    • 20' Babacar plays the ball wide to Arana, whose cross is headed away. The ball is worked back to him on the right, but the pass is sloppy and it goes out of play.
    • 19' Going into the weekend's fixtures, Messi had made more passes in the final third (868) than any other player across Europe’s top five leagues this season, followed by Xavi (800).
    • 17' Barca play the corner short and fail to work a chance from the set piece. Racing clear but are unable to get out of their half.
    • 16' It's Messi with the left-footed strike... Pushed away for a corner by Mario!
    • 15' Messi's first real run at the Racing back line ends with him winning a pretty soft free-kick in a great position for the shot. Several candidates to take this one...
    • 14' In both of the previous two campaigns in which Racing had fewer points after 25 games than they do now (20, assuming three points for win), they were relegated.
    • 13' Good defending from Francis, especially after just receiving that booking, as he gets in front of Iniesta and shields the ball back to the keeper.
    • 11' Racing right-back Francis gets the first booking of the game for a hefty sliding tackle on Fabregas. It was late and aggressive and deserved of a booking.
    • 10' Mascherano ghosts in front of Arana to rob the Racing man of the ball.
    • 9' So far, Barca's three-man defence is bearing up well. There is plenty of cover as Puyol steps forward to stop Racing building a counter-attack.
    • 8' Cesc Fabregas fires in a low cross and Mario almost spills it right to the feet of Isaac Cuenca! The keeper grabs hold of the ball at the second time of asking.
    • 6' Pedro cuts in from the left and tries to bend a right-footed curling effort into the top corner, but it flies wide of the target. Decent effort from the Spain international.
    • 5' Racing have failed to win any of their last seven league games (4D, 3L). They have not won any of their last 16 against Barcelona (D3, L13), losing their last six and failing even to score in their last four.
    • 4' Racing snuff out a burgeoning Barcelona attack and release Khouma Babacar on the counter with a ball over the top. Looks like that will be a theme of the match.
    • 3' Rather harsh offside decision against Pedro Munitis, who appeared to be level with the last defender as he burst through to meet a through ball.
    • 2' Hearts in Barcelona mouths early on as Carles Puyol appears to hurt his ankle. The Barca skipper is soon back on his feet, though he continues to grimace.
    • 1' Racing kick off and we're underway at El Sardinero!
    • 16:57 The players are coming out on to the field now. You can share your thoughts with me during the game via Twitter @tony_mabert. Vamanos muchachos!
    • 16:55 Despite the respective positions and form of these two, Barca boss Pep Guardiola is not taking this match for granted: "If we don’t control the ball, we will have problems against Racing. Racing play like Betis or Malaga, with a good defensive set up and with players who use the flanks and try to play good football. I know the team and the players and I’ve seen that especially in their last few games. The lessons to be drawn from the defeat will be discussed with the players sooner or later."
    • 16:50 The debate as to whether or not Lionel Messi is the greatest player of all time got another airing this week after the Argentina forward scored five goals in Barca's 7-1 demolition of Byer Leverjusen in the Champions League. Spanish sports daily AS wrote: "The 75,632 spectators that saw it live will be able to say 'I was there'. Like when Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in a (NBA) game, when Muhammad Ali beat Sonny Liston, or when Bob Beamon flew (in the long jump) at the Mexico Olympics." Messi gives new meaning to 'Hand of God'
    • 16:45 Real sealed that win over Betis on Saturday thanks in part to a brace from Cristiano Ronaldo, although Jose Mourinho's side escaped two penalty appeals when their players appeared to handball. Madrid handed win at Betis
    • 16:40 After Real Madrid's win at Real Betis yesterday, Barca need to beat Racing in order to close the gap at the top of La Liga back to 10 points. The home side will move out of the bottom three on goal difference if they win by a three-goal margin. Wonder what the odds are on that. La Liga table
    • 16:35 Barcelona have Gerard Pique suspended, but Carles Puyol returns to anchor a three-man defence for the champions. Barca are without the injured David Villa, Alexis Sanchez, Ibrahim Afellay, Thiago Alcantara and Eric Abidal. Barcelona team page
    • 16:30 Mario Fernandez starts in goal for Racing as first-choice goalkeeper Tono is suspended. Christian Stuani has recovered from a hamstring problem enough to make the bench, but fellow striker Lautaro Acosta (knee) is out.
    • 16:25 Racing: Mario, Francis, Alvaro, Bernardo, Cisma, Diop, Colsa, Gullon, Arana, Munitis, Babacar /// Barcelona: Valdes; Alves, Mascherano, Puyol; Busquets, Fabregas, Iniesta, Xavi; Pedro, Cuenca, Messi.
    • 16:20 Welcome to Eurosport's live coverage of the Spanish league clash between Racing Santander and Barcelona at El Sardinero!
  • Summary

    • 85' Pedro is played in with a lovely disguised through ball. He tries to lob the keeper but Mario is not fooled and makes the save easily.
    • 82' Valdes comes out to claim the corner but he drops a pretty simple catch! Diop is quickest to react but his shot doesn't make it through the bodies in the box.
    • 65' Mario saves a shot from Messi from the edge of the box and Racing manage to block the follow-up effort and scramble the ball clear!
    • 60' Wonderful mazy run from Cuenca into the Racing box and he strikes a crisp shot against the near upright!
    • 56' GOAL!! RACING 0-2 BARCA!! Messi strikes the penalty low into the bottom corner to double Barca's lead!
    • 31' Pedro hurtles down the left with the ball at his feet. He gets inside the box and bangs his strike intot he side netting! Almost a quickfire double for Barca there.
    • 29' GOAL!! Xavi is tackled on the edge of the box but the ball loops up to Fabregas inside the area. Cesc fires a low ball across the face of goal and Messi is on hand to tap in from six yards out!
    • 25' Fabregas played into the box but Mario is off his line quickly to make the block! Corner to Barca.
    • 22' Sumptuous chip from Iniesta inside the area that leaves the keeper rooted to the spot but bounces off the top of the crossbar!
    • 16' It's Messi with the left-footed strike... Pushed away for a corner by Mario!
    • 6' Pedro cuts in from the left and tries to bend a right-footed curling effort into the top corner, but it flies wide of the target. Decent effort from the Spain international.
    • 16:25 Racing: Mario, Francis, Alvaro, Bernardo, Cisma, Diop, Colsa, Gullon, Arana, Munitis, Babacar /// Barcelona: Valdes; Alves, Mascherano, Puyol; Busquets, Fabregas, Iniesta, Xavi; Pedro, Cuenca, Messi.

Team Line-up & Ratings

  • Racing Santander

    Manager: Alvaro Cervera Díaz

  • FC Barcelona

    Manager: Josep Guardiola

  • Line-up

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    • Player Y! Users Expert My Rating
      Goalkeeper
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      Defenders
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      Midfielders
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      Substitution Out62′ - -
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      Substitution Out70′ - -
      Strikers
      Yellow Card Substitution Out45′ - -
      Subs
      Substitution In62′ - -
      Substitution In45′ Yellow Card - -
      Substitution In70′ - -
    • Player Y! Users Expert My Rating
      Goalkeeper
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      Defenders
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      Midfielders
      Substitution Out83′ - -
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      Strikers
      Substitution Out73′ - -
      Substitution Out87′ - -
      Goals ×2 - -
      Subs
      Substitution In83′ - -
      Substitution In87′ - -
      Substitution In73′ - -

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