Over 92,000 fans were in attendance today at the Camp Nou to witness Barça capture their sixth consecutive league Derbi barceloní victory against Espanyol as they continued their quest to retain the league crown. Espanyol were determined to sit back and defend, which frustrated Barça players for the majority of the match. Nonetheless, Messi was the difference as he broke the deadlock in the 70th minute with a “Panenka” style free-kick that struck Víctor Sánchez’s head and past Diego López for the opening goal and his 30th league goal of the season. Messi then sealed the outcome when he finished
off a brilliant counter-attack when he latched on to Malcom’s pass to make it 2-0 and keep their 10-point lead atop of the standings. The players will have a few days rest before traveling away to face Villarreal on Tuesday.
Match Stats (From Sport):
FC Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Semedo (Sergi Roberto, 59′), Piqué, Lenglet, Jordi Alba, Busquets, Rakitic, Arthur (Malcom, 59′), Messi, Coutinho (Arturo Vidal, 81′) & Luis Suárez
RCD Espanyol: Diego López, Rosales, Lluís, Naldo, Hermosa, Pedrosa, Víctor Sánchez (Semedo, 77′), Roca, Granero, Melendo (Sergio García, 64′) & Borja Iglesias (Wu, 63′)
Goals: 1-0, Messi (70′); 2-0, Messi (88′)
Referee: Del Cerro Grande
Cautions: Víctor Sánchez (69′) & Pedrosa (86′)