Spanish La Liga match report Espanyol v FC Barcelona 04 February 2018
Posted: 4 February 2018 Time: 17:02
Espanyol held Barcelona to a 1-1 draw in Sunday's Catalan derby at the RCDE Stadium, falling just short of ending the Blaugrana’s unbeaten run.
As expected, Barcelona dominated possession from the start. They went close to breaking the deadlock in the 22nd minute, but Philippe Coutinho’s right-footed thunderbolt from just outside the box rattled the crossbar.
By then, the visitors looked in cruise control. However, Espanyol found their feet as the first half progressed, with Leo Baptistao causing problems for Ernesto Valverde’s defence.
In the 34th minute, Baptistao met a fine cross from Marc Navarro and had the chance to open the scoring, but headed over the target from close range.
Espanyol thought they had scored within the first minute after the break, when Gerard Moreno slotted home after receiving a cut-back from Baptistao on the left. However, Baptistao had ran the ball out of play before teeing his team-mate up for the finish and the goal was disallowed.
In the 66th minute, the hosts put the ball in the net again — and this time, nobody could spoil their party. Sergio Garcia’s early cross from the right found Moreno, who steered the ball past Marc-André ter Stegen with his head.
However, Gerard Piqué equalised in the 82nd minute, heading home after meeting a delivery into the box from Lionel Messi.
That goal snatched a point and extended Barcelona’s unbeaten start to the La Liga season to 22 matches — a new club record. However, Espanyol can hold their heads up high after a terrific performance.