Real Madrid youngster Andriy Lunin has completed a loan move to Segunda strugglers Real Oviedo after his temporary stay at Real Valladolid was cut short.

The Ukraine international, 20, moves to Oviedo until the end of the season and will compete with 34-year-old Nereo Champagne and former Real Madrid Castilla goalkeeper Alfonso Herrero for a starting role between the posts.

It had been hoped Lunin would be exposed to regular first-team football with La Pucela this term, but he has been unable to dislodge Jordi Masip in goal – the Barcelona product playing all 19 of Valladolid's LaLiga matches this term.

Lunin's time at the Nuevo Jose Zorrilla looked set to come to an end when Jose Antonio Caro's loan at Ponferradina was concluded on Sunday.

Valladolid is the second successive club with whom Lunin has struggled to make an impact, having played only five league matches with Leganes last season.

A reported €8.5million signing from Zorya Luhansk in July 2018, Lunin will finally hope to prove his talents in Spain during the second half of the season, with Oviedo languishing just a point above the relegation zone having conceded the second-highest number of goals in the division.

Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde said he has "run out of words" to describe Lionel Messi after the captain inspired a 5-1 rout of Real Valladolid.

Messi produced a masterclass with a brace and two assists as defending champions Barca moved top of the LaLiga table on Tuesday.

Barca captain Messi set up Arturo Vidal with an exquisite pass before scoring a stunning free-kick – the 50th of his career for club and Argentina – prior to half-time at Camp Nou.

Messi netted his second of the match after the interval and the five-time Ballon d'Or winner teed up team-mate Luis Suarez as Barca climbed above Granada and Atletico Madrid atop the summit.

"What else can be said about him? I've run out of words," Valverde told reporters. "We always know that he will appear, whatever the match.

"His talent isn't comparable to anything; the reality is that every time he touches the ball, something special happens. I just don't know what to say."

Valverde added: "He is getting closer to his best form [after injury], when Leo gets it something bad will happen to the rival.

"He has that talent that nobody has, he escapes anyone and it is not only that he can make an individual play but he does things that nobody sees.

"It happens to me sometimes, he does things that are not seen even from the crowd, every day is better."

Although Clement Lenglet's second-minute opener was fortuitously cancelled out by Valladolid's Kiko Olivas 13 minutes later, Messi was able to inspire Barca against the visitors.

Barca are two points clear of Granada and Atletico Madrid – the latter of whom have played an extra match due to the postponement of El Clasico last weekend – after 10 games.

"We value very much what we do," Valverde added. "We have in memory what we have done but we want to look forward and win this league.

"It is not easy to take the games forward, Valladolid tied against Atletico and Real Madrid and it is not easy to beat them."

Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal said superstar captain Lionel Messi is "from another planet" after producing a masterclass performance against Real Valladolid.

Messi was at his trademark best with a brace and two assists as LaLiga champions Barca routed Valladolid 5-1 at Camp Nou on Tuesday.

Argentina international Messi set up Vidal with an exquisite pass before scoring a stunning free-kick – the 50th of his career for club and country – prior to half-time.

Messi netted his second of the match after the break and teed up Luis Suarez as Barca moved top of the table.

"It makes a difference with Leo giving all his quality. When he's like this, the team feels it," Vidal told Movistar Plus.

"We see him every day, but he surprises us every day. Leo is from another planet. 

"We are happy, we won and the team felt good. I have no words to talk about Leo. You have to take advantage of it and make the most of him."

Although Clement Lenglet's second-minute opener was fortuitously cancelled out by Valladolid's Kiko Olivas 13 minutes later, Messi was able to inspire Barca against the visitors.

Barca are two points clear of Granada and Atletico Madrid – the latter of whom have played an extra match due to the postponement of El Clasico last weekend – after 10 games.

"These victories help you, but you have to keep improving," Vidal, who has been linked to Serie A outfit Inter, added. "The game against Slavia [Prague in the Champions League] is not what we know how to do. Hopefully it won't happen to us from now on."

Alvaro Morata insists he is not focusing on his own goalscoring exploits after Atletico Madrid were held to a 1-1 draw by Deportivo Alaves, stating he would just play tennis if individual exploits were important to him.

Atletico produced another underwhelming performance at Mendizorroza on Tuesday but looked to have escaped with all three points when Morata struck 20 minutes from time.

Lucas Perez then scored in style late on with a curling effort, denying Atletico the chance to go top of LaLiga for a few hours.

Morata's effort made it three goals in as many outings for the striker, though his personal form is not his top priority.

"If I worried about myself I would play tennis. I'm as disappointed as everyone else is in the locker room," the Spain international told reporters.

"We had chances and we did not take advantage of them. For us, two points escaped us, but we also have to see the rest of the teams and what they will do on a trip as difficult as this one."

Morata missed a good opportunity to make it 2-0 shortly before Perez's equaliser and coach Diego Simeone believes it would have been game over had Fernando Pacheco not made the save.

"The goalkeeper made a great stop, the ball was not going wide of the goal," Simeone added.

"Alvaro was fine and the goalkeeper kept Alaves in the game because the match was over with the second goal."

Simeone also pointed to Atletico's poor first-half display as a major contributor to failing to claim the win.

"In the first half Alaves were better, they were more intense, more aggressive, pressing well and controlling the second ball," he said.

"Overall, Alaves played a great game in the first half, we did it in the second half. We played well, we had situations, we pressed higher, we played between the lines.

"If we keep playing as in the second half and clearly understand what we did in the first half, we will have done well.

"It's clear that if a team doesn't start well in the first half, it's always the responsibility of the coach, because they were not excited and pumped to do well."

With Barca's 5-1 win over Real Valladolid, Atletico Madrid sit third in LaLiga. Real Sociedad, Real Madrid, Sevilla and Villarreal could all move above them across Wednesday and Thursday.

Lionel Messi reached a notable personal milestone under Ernesto Valverde at Barcelona as he scored twice and provided two assists in a 5-1 thumping of Real Valladolid.

After teeing up Arturo Vidal to put Barca 2-1 up at Camp Nou, Messi curled a wonderful free-kick beyond Jordi Masip to score his 100th goal in all competitions since Valverde was placed in charge at the club.

As well as bringing up his century since the start of the 2017-18 season, it was also the 50th time Messi had netted directly from a free-kick in his career for both club and country, with six of his set-piece goals scored for Argentina.

The 32-year-old was not finished there, though, as he lashed home his second from inside the penalty area before compounding Valladolid's misery when he set up Luis Suarez for the home side's fifth and final goal.

Suarez has now scored against every club he has faced in LaLiga, while Messi could have completed an impressive hat-trick late on, only to drill narrowly wide from close range.

Still, the emphatic result sees Barca move to the top of the table, two points clear of surprise package Granada and Atletico Madrid, the latter held to a 1-1 draw away at Deportivo Alaves.

Lionel Messi was Barcelona's inspiration with two goals and a pair of assists as the Blaugrana demolished Real Valladolid 5-1 at Camp Nou to go top of LaLiga.

The postponement of El Clasico – which was initially scheduled for October 26 – due to Catalan political tension allowed promoted Granada to become the unlikely leaders, but Barca restored normal service with a crushing victory, led by Messi.

Although Clement Lenglet's serendipitous opener was cancelled out by an even more fortuitous Kiko Olivas equaliser, Messi was able to drag Barca into a commanding lead, setting up Arturo Vidal and then netting a stunning free-kick.

Ernesto Valverde's men eased off initially in the second half, but Messi remained in the zone, slamming home Barca's fourth before then setting up Luis Suarez to round off a brilliant individual display from the five-time Ballon d'Or winner.

Barca led with just two minutes played when Lenglet's strike deflected on to the crossbar and in, a kind ricochet sending the ball right to him.

Valladolid levelled soon after, as Marc-Andre ter Stegen made a mess of Michel's wicked free-kick delivery and the ball went in off the oblivious Kiko.

Messi, however, was in an ominous mood.

The Argentina star delivered a delightful lofted pass into the box for Vidal to nudge past Jordi Masip, before then finding the top-right corner with a 30-yard free-kick in the 34th minute.

Messi was a central figure again early in the second half, darting forward and feeding Ansu Fati into the box, but he delayed his shot enough to allow for a defender to deflect it on to Masip's leg.

Shortly after Suarez had a goal disallowed for offside, Messi opened up a three-goal lead – controlling Ivan Rakitic's pass on the thigh before swivelling and blasting in.

Suarez then finished Valladolid off, tucking away after being released by Messi's incisive pass.

 

What does it mean?

Victory rarely looked in doubt on Tuesday, even when Valladolid equalised. Sealing all three points allowed Barca to take full advantage of Atletico Madrid slipping up at Deportivo Alaves earlier in the day.

They now have 22 points, two more than Diego Simeone's men and Granada, the surprise package of LaLiga this term.

Messi unplayable

Valladolid were not shy about getting physical with Barca, but there was little they could do to knock Messi off his stride. The forward provided four key passes, set up two goals and got a pair for himself – you cannot ask for much more than that.

Fati fails to shine

Starting alongside Messi for the first time, there will have been plenty of excitement from fans before kick-off, but Fati struggled in his duel with Pedro Porro and wasted a fine chance when teed up by Messi in the second half.

What's next?

Barca travel to Valencia for a contest with Levante on Saturday, while Valladolid host Real Mallorca the following day.

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde insists any problems within the team will be resolved privately following recent comments made by goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

The German goalkeeper criticised his side's performance in last week's 2-1 Champions League win at Slavia Prague and stated improvements had to be made.

Slavia ended the match in Prague on top and Ter Stegen suggested he and his team-mates needed to discuss the below-par display among themselves.

Valverde believes too much importance was given to the final stages of the match, however, and wants any issues to remain internal.

"When matches end, everyone leaves with an opinion of what happened on the field," he said at a news conference on Monday. 

"Matches can be seen in many ways, and if we have to solve something, we will solve it with within the club and not publicly. 

"When the game ends, people's impression is of the final minutes and they don't think about the overall game.

"In the first half of the Slavia game we had two or three chances on goal, they attacked and we did as well. In the second half, they got an early goal and we managed to get the result we wanted in the end. 

"They pressed us and that's it. If it had been a 4-1 win, we would be talking like we had the same result as in Eibar [a 3-0 victory]. This is football and it is normal."

Barcelona have not played since that narrow victory in Prague five days ago due to Saturday's scheduled Clasico with Real Madrid being called off as a result of civil unrest in Catalonia.

The reigning LaLiga champions are back in action on Tuesday with a home match against Real Valladolid, who have already taken points off Madrid and Atletico Madrid this term.

"They have had a good run and against the top teams have got some good results," Valverde said. "Taking into account last year's game [a 1-0 win for Barca] which was complicated, this is a game which we have many hopes for after the break this week.

"They have reinforced their style because they are doing well. I expect them to play like they have in recent matches. They will be solid and hard to overcome."

Samuel Umtiti remains a major doubt for the game due to a knee injury, while youngsters Carles Perez, Ansu Fati and Carles Alena are all pushing for inclusion at Camp Nou.

"Umtiti trained apart from the group [on Sunday], though I think it will be difficult for him to participate," he said. "There may be some other changes as well.

"[Perez and Fati] are with the first team and that is, in principle, the idea we have, even though they are able to play with the B team and might at some point play for them.

"Alena hasn't played as much as I thought, and he possibly deserves more game time because he is giving everything in training. There is a lot of competition in midfield and he can be called at any time so he has to be prepared."

Diego Simeone backed his Atletico Madrid forwards to come good in LaLiga but said they need "more forcefulness and anger" to find the net.

Atletico were held to a second consecutive goalless LaLiga draw when they failed to break down a resolute Real Valladolid side at Estadio Jose Zorrilla on Sunday and Simeone admitted his side were slow to get going.

The Rojiblancos improved in the second half but the closest they went to scoring was an Angel Correa shot that hit the post, leaving them with just one win from their past five league games, with Atleti failing to score in four of those.

Simeone gave credit to Valladolid, who missed a first-half penalty, saying: "The opponent was better in the first half. We did very little.

"In the second we were much better, it was more intense, we were more keen to show danger and we created a situation to win. The second half was closer to how we wanted to play from the start."

Asked about his side's problems in front of goal, after a third 0-0- draw in four LaLiga matches, Simeone said: "We need more precision, more forcefulness and anger.

"I see [Alvaro] Morata and [Diego] Costa have the intent, enthusiasm and desire to do things well and they have all my support.

"We have to wait, because they will find the answer for sure."

Morata, who went close to scoring when his second-half shot hit the face of Valladolid goalkeeper Jordi Masip, said he felt his team-mates were affected by their midweek trip to Moscow in the Champions League.

Atletico beat Lokomotiv Moscow 2-0 five days before their trip to Valladolid, with Joao Felix and Thomas Partey on the score-sheet.

"It is not easy to play after having played a game so far [Moscow]," said Morata.

"We are tired but there is no excuse.

"We are fine, it is not easy, LaLiga is more difficult than a few years ago. If we continue along this line we will be up there."

Atletico Madrid's stuttering season continued as they were held to a third goalless draw in four LaLiga matches by Real Valladolid, who remain unbeaten at home in LaLiga this season.

Diego Simeone's men were let off the hook when Sandro Ramirez ballooned a penalty over the crossbar in the first half at Estadio Jose Zorrilla but failed to impose their authority in a game they were expected to win.

Atleti went into the match with a record of seven goals in seven LaLiga matches this season and their attack was turgid again here, with strike partners Diego Costa and Alvaro Morata receiving scant service.

Valladolid had lost all of their previous eight league matches against Atleti but held firm to claim a valuable point in their push for the top half of the table.

Sandro Ramirez fired a warning shot into Jan Oblak's body as Valladolid tried to unsettle the visitors but Diego Simeone's men dominated the ball early on and slowed the game down.

Chances were few and far between until Thomas Partey tripped Sandro in the box and, after a lengthy VAR review, the referee pointed to the penalty spot.

Sandro stepped up in the hope of scoring his first goal for the club but got his penalty all wrong, sending the ball curling high over the crossbar.

Saul Niguez fizzed a shot narrowly wide from 25 yards as Atletico adopted a more direct approach after half-time.

Morata got in behind the hosts' defence and fired a shot that hit goalkeeper Jordi Masip in the face before Valladolid countered and Sandro went close with an effort on the turn.

Kieran Trippier's cross created a chance for Angel Correa with 10 minutes left but the substitute's powerful shot pinged back off the post to the relief of the home crowd, who will have been delighted with a point against one of the title favourites.

 

What does it mean? One win in five for Simeone's men

While it is too early to start ruling Atletico out of the title race, Simeone will be concerned by a lack of cutting edge in attack that has contributed to a run of one win, three draws and one defeat in their last five league games.

They are second in the table but three points behind leaders Real Madrid.

Morata more lively

While Costa was largely a bystander, Morata provided Atleti with an outlet and battled through some heavy challenges to keep his side on the front foot.

Sandro's struggle

Three seasons ago, Sandro scored 14 LaLiga goals in 30 appearances for Malaga and looked a star in the making. Now, at the age of just 24, he looks a spent force and the way he hung his head after blazing Valladolid's penalty over the crossbar suggested he feels like one, too.

What's next?

Valladolid travel to Athletic Bilbao after the international break, while Atletico Madrid will hope to pick up their first home win since September 1 when they entertain Valencia in 13 days' time.

Diego Simeone was encouraged by the performance of Joao Felix in Tuesday's 2-0 Champions League win at Lokomotiv Moscow, convinced that will help him further his improvement.

Joao Felix joined Atletico for €126million in pre-season, coming in as the replacement for Antoine Griezmann after his move to Barcelona.

The 19-year-old attacker impressed in the close-season, particularly when getting a goal and two assists in the remarkable 7-3 friendly win over rivals Real Madrid in July.

He has had a slightly slower start to life in competitive action for Atletico, scoring twice and setting up one goal in seven LaLiga outings, but Simeone was impressed with his display in Moscow.

The Portugal international scored Atletico's first goal from close range after chasing up his own effort that rebounded back off the goalkeeper, before then playing a key role in their second – winning the ball back and picking out Diego Costa, who squared to Thomas Partey for the finish.

"It was the match in which he was most involved, possibly, in the rhythm of the game," Simeone told reporters ahead of Sunday's trip to Real Valladolid.

"For a player who likes to have the ball, participate in the game of his team, it [the performance] generates more enthusiasm.

"The other day this happened, he was active in the two goals of the team. That will lead him to continue growing.

"What I liked most was when he threw himself on the floor and retrieved a ball near the bench and showing that he understands what football is."

Simeone has been rotating his options in attack this season, opting to play all three of Joao Felix, Costa and Alvaro Morata on Tuesday.

And, according to the coach, that is advantage Joao Felix brings; he can feature either out wide or in a support role behind two main strikers.

"Due to his characteristics, he can play accompanied by a striker or with two striker references," Simeone said. "He has a great vision of the game and the team has more possibilities playing with two strikers and plus Joao, but the work balance of the rest of the team rises and will depend on the players.

"I think he can play in both versions. When he arrived I think he came with chances to play as a second striker. Now, when he participates most is with Costa and Morata, he has more vision to participate."

Real Madrid playmaker James Rodriguez said returning to play at the Santiago Bernabeu was a "unique feeling".

James started a Madrid match for the first time since May 2017 as Los Blancos drew 1-1 at home to Real Valladolid in LaLiga action on Saturday.

The Colombia star spent the last two seasons out on loan with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, who opted against triggering their purchase option.

James looked poised to join either Atletico Madrid or Napoli, however, the 28-year-old played 57 minutes for Zinedine Zidane's men in the Spanish capital.

"Back at the Bernabeu after a long time," James wrote on Twitter post-match.

"It was a unique feeling. Thanks to the fans for the support.

"We will continue to work in order to improve."

James made 20 Bundesliga appearances for Bayern last season, scoring seven goals.

He also scored seven league goals in 23 Bundesliga matches during the 2017-18 after helping Madrid to Champions League glory the season prior.

Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos said Neymar is among the "top three in the world" amid the Paris Saint-Germain star's links to the LaLiga giants.

Neymar wants to leave PSG two years on from his world-record €222million transfer and talk of a Barcelona return has been touted, as well as a blockbuster move to Madrid.

Madrid and Barca are both reportedly in talks with PSG over Neymar and Ramos was asked about the Brazilian forward following Saturday's 1-1 LaLiga draw against Real Valladolid.

"Neymar is a top player, among the top three in the world," Ramos told reporters. "Talking about signings is a lack of respect for this great team.

"These things are always talked about at Real Madrid and even more so when the transfer window is open.

"Players must be cold with these things."

Madrid have been busy in the transfer market, signing Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic, Eder Militao, Ferland Mendy and Rodrygo Goes, while seemingly keeping Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez.

"We're going to move forward with those that we have," Ramos said. "We all need to be connected.

"Reactivating players like [Gareth] Bale or James [Rodriguez] is another solution."

Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas, however, is reportedly set to leave the Santiago Bernabeu as he seeks regular football.

Navas has been linked to Ligue 1 champions PSG after being told he will be back-up to Thibaut Courtois.

"He's one of the best goalkeepers in the world," Ramos added. "The debate about the goalkeeper's spot has always existed, but Real Madrid need two great goalkeepers and [Thibaut] Courtois and Navas are two amazing goalkeepers.

"I would like [Navas] to stay because he's also a great player, team-mate and he's a friend."

Zinedine Zidane urged Real Madrid fans to stay on side as he recognises the team are under more pressure this term because of last season's troubles.

Madrid played their first home match of the 2019-20 campaign on Saturday but were held to a shock 1-1 draw by Real Valladolid.

Karim Benzema scored what Madrid thought to be the winner in the 82nd minute, but Sergi Guardiola struck his second goal of the season even later to salvage a commendable point for the visitors.

Little has gone the way of Madrid – or Zidane – in recent months, with their close season marred by the ugly Gareth Bale transfer saga, poor friendly performances and uncertainty around some of the new signings.

Having finished last season 19 points adrift of Barcelona, Zidane knows the pressure has increased again this season and he is pleading for fans to lend their backing.

When asked if the team is under more scrutiny because of last term, Zidane said: "I noticed it at the Bernabeu - the crowd [feels the pressure] too.

"The fans also have to help us. There's no choice. I know it is difficult, but I'm asking because they have also taken advantage of our successes. We will try everything on our part."

Madrid are next in league action on September 1, when they travel to Villarreal.

Karim Benzema is the first French player to score 150 goals in LaLiga.

Real Madrid were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Real Valladolid on Saturday, though Benzema was at least given a reason to crack a smile for his individual feat.

The former Lyon man netted a fine opener on the turn in the 82nd minute, finding the bottom-right corner from 18 yards.

However, it was ultimately not enough for the three points, as Sergi Guardiola converted just before the end to seal a shock draw for Valladolid.

Benzema has taken 10 years to reach the 150 milestone, but for a while it looked like he may never get near that number.

The striker's poor form in 2017-18 had his future at the club in doubt, but he bounced back last term with 21 goals in LaLiga, a figure he has only exceeded once in his career.

His effort on Saturday got him off the mark for the new season, making him only the seventh player to reach 150 goals for Madrid in Spain's top flight.

Real Madrid were held to a 1-1 draw by Real Valladolid in their first home game of the season on Saturday.

Karim Benzema's precise strike with eight minutes to play looked enough to earn Zinedine Zidane's side a second win from two LaLiga matches in 2019-20, only for Sergi Guardiola to level late on.

Madrid started their first home game of the season with none of their new signings in the first XI, as Zidane put faith in Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez and Isco despite weeks of speculation over their futures.

It was Bale who looked likeliest to break the deadlock in the first half, prodding a first-time effort just wide of the left-hand post and sending a header over the crossbar.

James also twice came close with a good strike and a header, but Valladolid goalkeeper Jordi Masip was left relatively untroubled despite Madrid's dominance.

Luka Jovic was sent on from the bench for his home debut and struck the crossbar with a header from Bale's cross - his first touch of the game.

Waldo Rubio was denied by Thibaut Courtois while Guardiola just failed to turn in a cross on the break, and Benzema's sharp turn and finish from 18 yards out - his 150th LaLiga goal - looked to have punished those misses.

That was until the 88th minute, when Guardiola raced into space behind Raphael Varane and prodded the ball through the legs of Courtois.


What does it mean? Madrid need Hazard fit - and soon

For all their dominance, Madrid found it very difficult to pick their way through the Valladolid lines and only managed four shots on target throughout, including Benzema's superb strike.

It was the kind of game where Eden Hazard's dribbling was needed to unlock the defence. Zidane will hope he is fit again quickly.

Kroos class not enough

Toni Kroos completed all 53 of his first-half passes and created a game-high five chances, but his meticulous use of the ball was not matched by those around him.

Vinicius ineffective

With Hazard unavailable, Zidane brought on Vinicius Junior to try to unbalance the Valladolid defence, but the Brazil winger offered little end product to some determined runs.

What's next?

Madrid head to Villarreal next Sunday, the day after Valladolid travel to Levante.

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