Barça hosts a struggling Deportivo still looking for first away win of the season

Cesc and Messi celebrate a goal from the game earlier in the season PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
Depor, who have the second worst away record in the league, come to the Camp Nou anchored to the bottom of the First Division with 17 points from 26 games

The team managed by Fernando Vázquez hasn’t had much luck on its travels this season. They haven’t won a single game away from their own Riazor stadium, drawing five and losing eight. Along the way,Depor have conceded 35 goals away from home and scored just 15. Their top scorer with 10 is Riki – he’s responsible for 34% of his team’s goals – but he hasn’t been able to stop his team from going eight matches without a win and occupying the foot of the table, 8 points from salvation.

End to end stuff in the Riazor

When Barça played in the Riazor earlier in the season, the home team manager was José Luis Oltra. The game was a frantic end to end battle that ended up 4-5 in Barça’s favour. Jordi Alba put Tito Vilanova’s men ahead in the 3rd minute and Cristian Tello doubled Barça’s lead four minutes later. When Messi made it 0 a 3 in the 17th minute, the match seemed all but over but then Pizzi and Bergantiños pulled two goals back for the home side in the 26th and 36th minutes respectively.

Messi restored a comfortable 2-4 lead for Barça before halftime but just a minute into the second half, in-form hit man Riki pulled one back to make it 3-4. With a quarter of an hour to go, Messi killed off any hope of a comeback and restored Barça’s two-goal advantage, though a couple of minutes later, Jordi Alba put the ball into his own net to give Barça a nervous last few minutes. Depor threw everything at the Barça defence – including their keeper Aranzubia – but the scoreboard remained at 4-5, handing the three points to Barça.

Fernando Vázquez looking for first win

The new Deportivo boss is still looking for his first managerial victory in the Camp Nou. His first match in charge of Depor was a home defeat in February againstReal Madrid (1-2), which was followed by a goalless draw, also at home, against Rayo Vallecano. He’s still looking for his first win away from home.

He’s had plenty of experience against Barça with his previous teams – Compostella, Oviedo, Mallorca, Las Palmas, Rayo, Valladolid and Celta Vigo. He’s come up against Barça a total of 20 times with five wins, four draws and eleven defeats. A few years ago he took Celta Vigo up from the second division with Barça goalkeeper Pinto as a key member of the team.