Tuesday, October 20
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Sep 24, 2016 at 3.15pm UK
Sporting GijonSporting Gijon
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Suarez (29'), Rafinha (32'), Neymar (81', 88'), Turan (85')

Live Commentary: Sporting Gijon 0-5 Barcelona - as it happened

:Headline: Live Commentary: Sporting Gijon 0-5 Barcelona - as it happened:
Relive Sports Mole's live commentary of the La Liga clash between Sporting Gijon and Barcelona, which ended in a 5-0 away win.

Barcelona travelled to Sporting Gijon on Saturday afternoon knowing that a win would take them top of La Liga.

At the interval, the visitors led 2-0 courtesy of goals from Luis Suarez and Rafinha in the space of three minutes.

Sporting had chances to hit back in the second period, but the home side were reduced to 10 men in the 74th minute when Alberto Lora picked up a second yellow and it proved to be a comfortable conclusion for the Spanish champions as Neymar (2) and Arda Turan netted late on.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live coverage of the action below.

Afternoon all! Sports Mole's live La Liga coverage continues from El Molinon as Sporting Gijon welcome the champions Barcelona, who currently sit third in the table – three points off leaders Real Madrid. Sporting made a decent start to the new campaign, but they will enter the match off the back of successive defeats. Let's hope for an entertaining match-up as top-flight Spanish football comes your way!
Sporting have only ever beaten Barcelona on two occasions in the top flight, although both of those wins came on home soil – 2-0 in January 1994 and 2-1 in September 1994. Since then, Barcelona have utterly dominated their meetings and indeed recorded a 6-0 victory and 3-1 success in the league last term. The last time that Sporting avoided defeat in this fixture was in February 2011.
Right, without further ado, let me bring you up-to-speed with the team news. We already know that Barcelona are missing Messi, so who has come in as the Argentine's replacement? Let's have a look...

GIJON: Cuellar; Lora, Mere, Amorebieta, Lillo; Victor, Sergio, Burgui, Nacho; Gomez; Cop

BARCA: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Mathieu, Pique, Digne; Busquets, Rafinha, Gomes; Neymar, Suarez, Turan

Sporting Gijon boss Abelardo Fernandez has made four changes to the team that started the 2-1 defeat at Celta Vigo during the week, with Jorge Mere, Burgui, Nacho Cases and Moi Gomez all returning to the XI. Duje Cop keeps his spot in the final third, but Borja Viguera drops to the bench alongside Jean-Sylvain Babin, while on-loan Barcelona defender Douglas is also in the 18-man squad.
As for Barcelona, Luis Enrique has made five changes to the side that drew 1-1 with Atletico on Wednesday night. As mentioned, Messi misses out with a groin problem and the Argentine's place has been taken by Arda Turan. Elsewhere, Jeremy Mathieu and Lucas Digne replace Javier Mascherano and Jordi Alba in defence, while Andre Gomes and Rafinha replace Ivan Rakitic and Andres Iniesta in midfield.
So there we have it. The two teams are in and we are now just about 40 minutes from kickoff on this warm afternoon in Spain. I shall talk about Sporting a little bit later, but let's start with Barcelona, who, as mentioned, will enter this match in third position in the table after Wednesday's 1-1 draw with Atletico. From five league matches, Barcelona have won three, drawn one and lost one.

It was a strong start to the new season for Barcelona as they won the Spanish Super Cup in a two-legged affair with Sevilla, before opening their La Liga title defence with a 6-2 win at home to Real Betis. Their second league match brought a 1-0 win at Athletic Bilbao to move onto six points from a possible six, but they incredibly lost 2-1 at home to newly-promoted Alaves on September 10.
Enrique's side then opened their Champions League campaign with a sensational 7-0 win over Celtic, before moving on to nine points in the league with a 5-1 victory at Leganes on September 17. Their first serious test of the season arrived on Wednesday when they welcomed Atletico and Barcelona were held to a 1-1 draw after Angel Correa cancelled out a header from Ivan Rakitic.
Victory for Barcelona this afternoon would indeed move them temporarily top of the table, but Real Madrid would return to the summit if they can beat Las Palmas tonight, which I shall also be covering live on Sports Mole. It is unlike Barcelona to have dropped points this early in the season, but they will be confident of returning to winning ways at El Molinon this afternoon.

In terms of what is ahead for the Spanish champions, they will travel to Germany to take on Borussia Monchengladbach in their second Champions League group match next week, before travelling to Celta Vigo in the league early next month. They will then welcome Deportivo La Coruna on October 15, before hosting Pep Guardiola's Manchester City in the Champions League on October 19.
Unsurprisingly, Barcelona had the best away record in La Liga last season – winning 13 of their 19 matches and collecting 42 points in the process. They also scored 45 times on their travels and have hit five against Leganes in their last away trip in the top flight. The visitors are without Messi for this match, but Luis Suarez and Neymar are both present and Turan has shown his worth in recent weeks.
As for Sporting, the Red and Whites currently occupy 12th position in the table having collected seven points from their five matches this season. They made a very positive start to the new campaign – opening with a 2-1 win over Athletic Bilbao on home soil, before drawing 0-0 away to Alaves.

Sporting moved onto seven points from three matches with a 2-1 victory over Leganes, but they were thumped 5-0 at Atletico Madrid on September 17 before losing 2-1 away to Celta Vigo on Wednesday night. It has been a solid start from Abelardo Fernandez's team, but they will be wary of slipping down the table over the next few weeks. Little over 15 minutes until kickoff here!
Rojiblancos earned promotion to La Liga when they finished second in the Segunda Division in the 2014-15 campaign and they survived by their fingertips in the top flight last season – finishing in 17th, just one point above Rayo Vallecano, who dropped into the Segunda alongside Getafe and Levante.
Seventeenth or above would once again represent a brilliant campaign for Sporting and they have made a solid start to the season. In terms of what is to come, they will travel to Deportivo La Coruna next weekend, before facing Valencia (H), Granada (A) and Sevilla (H) in October.
The top three in La Liga are all in action today as Barcelona face Sporting here, Sevilla travel to Athletic Bilbao in the 5.30pm kickoff and Real Madrid make the trip to Las Palmas, who have also impressed this season. Atletico Madrid, meanwhile, who currently sit fourth, will attempt to continue their unbeaten start when they host Deportivo La Coruna tomorrow afternoon.

GIJON: Cuellar; Lora, Mere, Amorebieta, Lillo; Victor, Sergio, Nacho, Burgui; Gomez; Cop

BARCA: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Mathieu, Pique, Digne; Busquets, Rafinha, Gomes; Neymar, Suarez, Turan

KICKOFF! Sporting Gijon kick things off this afternoon...
... it must be said that there is a wonderful atmosphere inside the stadium this afternoon. Barcelona are the overwhelming favourites, but there seems to be a good-feeling around Sporting Gijon at the moment. As expected, it is the visitors that have taken control of the possession in the opening minutes.
Digne has a problem for Barcelona here after going down and appearing to turn his ankle. Might have to be an early change for the visitors as the Frenchman writhes in agony here.
Digne comes back on, but it will be interesting to see whether the Frenchman lasts. Plenty happening all over the pitch at the moment as challenges fly in from all angles!
Burgui has been nice and bright for the home side in the early exchanges, with the winger more than prepared to take on Sergi Roberto in a wide position. Neymar is starting to see more of the ball for the visitors, but Sporting are chopping the Brazilian every time he has a touch. Brilliant tempo here.
You just get the feeling that the first goal this afternoon - if there indeed is one - could be vital in terms of the final result. Sporting are flying all over the park at the moment and you sense that the walls would come off this stadium if they manage to take the lead. Barcelona yet to really settle.
BOOKING! Lora (Sporting) is booked for a poor challenge on Rafinha.
Free kick Barcelona in a dangerous position here...
... Neymar sends his free kick straight into the wall.
Not an awful lot to report in terms of clear chances in the last few minutes, but Sporting are having more of the ball here as they enjoy a spell of possession in the Barcelona half of the field.
No sign of that early injury for Digne as the Frenchman continues to drive down the left and link with Neymar, who has just sent an over-head kick into the arms of Cuellar following a smart move.
Sporting continue to cause problems in the final third as Victor Rodriguez wins a corner following an impressive run, but Cases turns wide of the near post after meeting the resulting set piece. Barcelona break down the other end as Neymar finds Suarez, but the striker was offside.
Barcelona have had more of the possession in the opening 18 minutes, but it is difficult to say that they are dominating this match. Indeed, Sporting are pretty comfortable at the back and look dangerous when they are given the space to counter-attack. Good game of football in Gijon here.
Ter Stegen handles outside his area and Sporting have a free kick just outside the Barcelona box. Brilliant chance for the home side to test the German goalkeeper. Plenty around the ball here...
... it is poor from Rodriguez as his free kick finds the wall.
Gomes breaks forward from midfield as Barcelona look to find a route through the Sporting defence, but Mere comes across to make the challenge. Still goalless with 23 minutes played.
Not great from Barcelona at the moment as they continue to struggle to find a route through this Sporting defence, which has been rock solid in the opening 25 minutes of this match. Roberto breaks forward from right-back and looks to feed Suarez, but the striker just cannot control.
Good grief hardly time to take a breath at the moment as both teams continue to concede possession and indeed fly into challenges! It is a cracking game of football between these two.
The home supporters are crying 'shoot' as Victor Rodriguez drives to the edge of the Barcelona box, but he takes too long and his pocket picked. Barcelona break down the other end and Gomes cuts inside before having a go, but his effort was always high of the crossbar. End-to-end stuff!
Gomes hits another one wide of the post from distance as Barcelona threaten.
GOAL! Sporting Gijon 0-1 Barcelona (Suarez)
Barcelona take the lead in the 29th minute of this match as Turan sends a beautiful through ball towards Suarez and the striker beats the onrushing Cuellar before finishing from close range.
GOAL! Sporting Gijon 0-2 Barcelona (Rafinha)
And just like that it is 2-0 Barcelona as Roberto finds space down the right before delivering a super cross onto the head of Rafinha, whose effort flies past the home side's stopper!
Well, Sporting have actually played pretty well in this first period, but they find themselves 2-0 behind and the game could now be gone. You sense that the home side will continue to commit players forward in a bid to halve the deficit and that will leave Barcelona more space to exploit.
Another half-chance for Barcelona as Suarez drives into the Sporting box, but the angle was always tight and the striker can only hit the side netting. Neymar was available in the middle of the box.
Credit to Sporting for their willingness to keep the pressure on Barcelona, but they have just not dealt with the champions down the other end of the field. Another half-chance arrives as Cop heads towards goal from close range, but Ter Stegen is on hand to make the save.
Just a reminder that Real Madrid are in action away to Las Palmas tonight and I shall also be covering that match live on Sports Mole. It looks like Los Blancos will drop to second or indeed third if Sevilla can beat Athletic Bilbao later this afternoon. Not long left in the first period here.
Possession football from Barcelona at the moment as they look to close out the first period on top. It is going to have to be a big half-time team-talk from Sporting boss Abelardo, that is for sure.
Just the one additional minute at the end of the first period.
HALF-TIME: Sporting Gijon 0-2 Barcelona
So there we have it. The referee brings the first period to a close with Barcelona leading 2-0 at Sporting Gijon courtesy of goals from Luis Suarez and Rafinha. The home side actually caused Barcelona plenty of problems in the early exchanges, but it is a long way back from this position.
STATISTICS! Barcelona have dominated the possession with 65%, while they have hit the target with two of their six attempts and both of those found the back of the net. Sporting have had five attempts, just one of which was on target. Just the one booking - Lora in the ninth minute of action.
BENCH WATCH! Sporting boss Abelardo does have options for change on his bench this afternoon, with the likes of Castro, Viguera and Ait-Atmane all capable of influencing matters in the second period. Barcelona, meanwhile, have options in the shape of Iniesta, Alba, Iniesta, Alcacer, Denis and Rakitic.
RESTART! Barcelona resume the action here...
... no changes from either manager at the break, which is not too much of a surprise. However, I suspect that both coaches will make alterations as the second period gathers pace this afternoon.
If Sporting are to turn this game around, they need to score the next goal, that is for certain. Barcelona have not been at their best thus far this afternoon, but a third goal would certainly secure all of the points and take them back to the top of La Liga. No chances to report since the restart.
The home supporters are doing their best to raise their team, but Barcelona are pretty comfortable as they keep hold of the ball early in the second period. Still two goals to the good at El Molinon.
Burgui looks the player most likely to make something happen for the home team as he continues to attack down the right, but Pique has come across to challenge the winger on two separate occasions. Down the other side, Victor Rodriguez's delivery is not finding its desired target.
Neymar is coming in for some rough treatment at the moment, which is not much of a surprise! The Brazilian takes a quick free kick and Roberto delivers into Suarez, but Cuellar makes the save.
Little over 30 minutes of the second period remaining and Sporting are currently forcing the issue, but that was the case when Barcelona scored two quick-fire goals in the first half. Victor Rodriguez again breaks through for the home side and Ter Stegen has to get across to make the save.
You wonder whether Luis Enrique will look to replace Neymar and Suarez in the final 30 minutes of this match ahead of their European commitments next week. Indeed, Barcelona cannot afford to lose one of those two after Messi's recent injury. This game is not done and dusted yet though.
Very poor from Lillo as the Sporting defender throws an arm into the face of Turan off the ball. The referee does not even award a free kick following the tussle. Could well have been a red card!
GOAL DISALLOWED! Mathieu has the ball in the back of the net after a smart knockdown from Pique, but the flag was raised. That would have been game, set and match for Barcelona.
The referee has been very busy in the last few minutes as late challenges continue to occur all over the pitch. Indeed, Amorebieta and Suarez have just gone head-to-head following a late tackle!
There is some movement on the Sporting bench, which is not too much of a surprise as we approach the final 20 minutes of this match. The home side need to start overloading here.
SPORTING SUB! Castro replaces Cop for the home side.
SPORTING SUB! Ndi replaces Gomez in Sporting's second change.
BARCELONA SUB! Denis Suarez replaces Busquets for Barcelona.
Barcelona have actually been really disappointing for long spells of this match, especially in the final third, but they lead 2-0 and are managing the game approaching the final 15 minutes. Paco Alcacer is about to become the away side's second change and it could be Turan leaving the field.
BARCELONA SUB! Alcacer replaces Suarez for the away side.
Sporting are reduced to 10 men as Lora picks up his second yellow for chopping Roberto!
Sporting's task has now become a lot harder in the latter stages of this match and Barcelona will fancy their chances of managing the situation now as they head for all three points here.
SPORTING SUB! Douglas replaces Rodriguez for the home side.
Little over 10 minutes of football remaining and you can just see Barcelona scoring a third goal here as they continue to threaten on the counter-attack. It is tough for 10-man Sporting now.
Credit to Sporting as they continue to commit players in the final third, but they have just not had enough in the final third of the field. Barcelona manage the game with 82 minutes on the clock.
GOAL! Sporting Gijon 0-3 Barcelona (Neymar)
Barcelona have their third of the match as Neymar turns home from close range after Suarez had rattled the crossbar with a brilliant strike. Game, set and match for the visitors this afternoon.
Half-chance for the home side as Castro meets a free kick from Ndi, but his effort is deflected wide of the post as Barcelona keep their clean sheet in tact. Not much more football to be played here.
GOAL! Sporting Gijon 0-4 Barcelona (Turan)
It is four for Barcelona as Turan heads a Roberto cross into the back of the net. Roberto has had a storming game for the visitors this afternoon. But where on earth was the marking there!
BOOKING! Amorebieta (Sporting) is booked for a late challenge on Denis Suarez.
GOAL! Sporting Gijon 0-5 Barcelona (Neymar)
Barcelona have five and Neymar has two as the Brazilian collects a pass from Denis Suarez before firing the ball into the bottom corner. Sporting have simply fallen apart in this match.
SAVE! Almost five for Neymar, but Cuellar keeps out the Brazilian this time!
We are into the second of three additional minutes here and Sporting cannot wait for the final whistle. They have conceded three times since Lora was sent off in the 74th minute here.
FULL-TIME: Sporting Gijon 0-5 Barcelona
So there we have it. Thumping win for Barcelona as the Spanish champions return to the top of the table. That is just about it from me this afternoon, but I shall be back at 6.45pm UK time for Las Palmas against Real Madrid - be sure to check in for that one. Real Madrid have to respond!

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La Liga Table
1Real Sociedad6321102811
3Real Madrid531163310
7Real Betis630379-29
8Atletico MadridAtletico42208178
14Athletic Bilbao520345-16
17Celta Vigo612339-65
19Real Valladolid603359-43
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