Recently promoted side Sporting de Gijón took on the defending La Liga champions in a rare midweek match during in which the majority of the clubs are playing in the UEFA Champions League, FC Barcelona play this match as the game in hand that they had ever since they won the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan against River Plate back in December. Nevertheless, Barcelona still come into great form in all competitions and was looking to do the same in Gijon.
Same old thing
The first chance for Gijon came when on loan striker from the Blaugrana, Alen Halilovic played the ball to Alex Melendez, his shot on target goes wide of Claudio Bravo’s goal. Luis Suarez chance from pass by Lionel Messi, hit the post. In the 25th minute, a good run on the right, the all time La Liga goalscorer made a world class hit past Ivan Cuéllar to give him his 300th goal and score off his first shot of the match. In the 27th minute, Carlos Castro equalized following a ball played from the left off a counterattack and the striker was able to finish right past Claudio Bravo.
In the 31st minute, Messi got his brace. Following back to back balls played from Luis Suarez to the Argentine striker, he was able to calmly shoot past Cuéllar to make it 2-1. Neymar had a chance on the left in the 37th minute dribbling over the defenders, but his shot went wide of the goal. It was a comfortable half for the defending Spanish and European champions.
In the 55th minute, Omar Mascarell had the first big chance of the half for the hosts with his shot being easily saved in the Chilean goalkeeper. In the 61st minute, Barcelona get a penalty off a challenge by made to Neymar, the referee had no choice but to call it. Suarez was the man to step up and take the penalty, but his shot to the left was saved by Cuéllar, giving something for the fans to cheer about.
In the 68th minute, a ball was played to Suarez and was able to dribble past the Gijon defenders and send a sensational strike on the top corner of Cuellar’s goal to make it 3-1 to the defending European champions and score his 24th goal of the season.
Despite best efforts, FC Barcelona were able to get all three points against the side from Asturias and will now look to focus on their UEFA Champions League tie against Arsenal next week, but before that, they will have to face Las Palmas in the league, with six points above Atletico Madrid and seven above Real Madrid. The host side, who are in 16th place with 23 points will be on the road against Real Betis.