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FC Barcelona News: 8 December 2014; First Team, B Team Win Catalan Derbies, Sergio Busquets Reaches Milestone

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Messi and Barça take derby against Espanyol (5-1) | FC Barcelona
In the first quarter hour, Espanyol’s Sergio García took advantage of a Barça lapse, leading a two on two break and depositing a low shot past a diving Claudio Bravo for an early 1-0 lead. The play started when Sergio Busquets, the victim of a possible foul, lost the ball in midfield. The Barça players stood by looking for the whistle as Espanyol raced up field on a play that resulted in a surprise goal and stunned the crowd.

Luis Enrique says tying goal changed the match | FC Barcelona
"The game was quiet until that goal, because they were all back on defence. After we drew even it looked like Espanyol began to doubt itself and things opened up a bit for us," FC Barcelona manager Luis Enrique said after the victory. He made it clear that Messi's tying goal in the final moments of the first half changed everything. "It was key and justice had been done on the field." As for the second half, "we were much more fluid," he said. "When these guys close in on goal, they're lethal," he added.

Sergio Busquets' 300 games in 5 key points | FC Barcelona
6 years and 3 months later: It now seems a long time since the 13th of September, 2008, the day that Pep Guardiola gave Sergio Busquets his league debut in the 1-1 draw against Racing Santander. Almost 6 years and 3 months later the man from just outside Barcelona has reached 300 games.

Leo Messi: Three hat-tricks in four games | FC Barcelona
The first of the three goals scored by Leo Messi was his 400th in a Barça shirt, friendly games included. Two further goals took his overall total up to 402. The Argentinian has now scored 12 goals in derbies against Espanyol, thus surpassing the previous record holder César.

Messi leaves Piqué speechless | FC Barcelona
Piqué scored Barça's third goal on a corner but admitted that they have difficulty scoring on set plays: "We aren't very tall. And it is true that we have been able to score from close in, like the other day against Valencia, but today we were better," he said. He also highlighted the team's play in the second half: "In the second half we were more organised and they had fewer counter attacks."

Three Points: Barcelona vs. Espanyol | ESPN FC
Then Messi took over -- first winning a free kick from 25 yards out, and picking himself up to curl the resulting free kick off the bar. Next came a typical dribble past two men on the edge of the box, although he was then just about crowded out. The momentum of the game had shifted, however, and Barca were soon in control.

Pedro talks about derby and the near future | FC Barcelona
Barça's 5-1 derby win over Espanyol at Camp Nou, complete with a Leo Messi hat trick and goals from Gerard Piqué and Pedro Rodríguez, did not disappoint the fans. Afterwards, Pedro visited ‘El Marcador’ on Barça TV: "We're confident after good games against Valencia, Espanyol, two tough rivals; this is how we have to close out the year."

Preparing for PSG | FC Barcelona
There hasn’t been much time to savour the 5-1 victory against Espanyol, for work resumed today as the first team began preparations for Wednesday’s clash at the Camp Nou with Paris Saint-Germain. First place in the group us at stake and Luis Enrique has an almost full squad to pick from, with only Dani Alves and Thomas Vermaelen unavailable. The Brazilian is suspended, while the Belgian was at the Ciutat Esportiva today to begin his recovery process.

The week ahead: Paris Saint Germain and Getafe | FC Barcelona
Barça have two crunch games ahead of them this week. First, it’s Paris Saint-Germain at Camp Nou, with first place in the group up for grabs. The French club currently have a two point lead, so only a win would do to ensure Barça are seeded in the first knockout round. After that, it’s back to La Liga and a trip to the Coliseo Alfonso Pérez to face Getafe, where Barça have won 4-1 and 5-2 on their last two visits.

Vermaelen gets support from the team | FC Barcelona
Before the derby against Espanyol at Camp Nou, FC Barcelona's players warmed up wearing t-shirts in support of injured teammate Thomas Vermaelen, who recently underwent surgery. The shirt read ‘Molts ànims Thomas’, a Catalan phrase expressing support for the Belgian defender. Vermaelen will be out four months.

Barça B victorious at Girona, 1-0 | FC Barcelona
Barça B was not at all comfortable during the first half and they had a tough time trying to control play. In fact, Girona were the ones who dominated possession in the first 45 minutes. Eusebio's men were unable to play their usual game and suffered under the suffocating pressure of Pablo Machin's side. Bigas hit the crossbar in the second minute, and six minutes later Mata almost scored from outside the area, but Ortolá saved his shot just when it looked to be going in.

James hamstring injury confirmed | Football Espana
The capital club confirmed in a statement on their official website that the Colombian visited the Sanitas La Moraleja clinic on Monday morning to undergo the relevant medical tests, the results of which showed a first-degree strain in his right calf muscle.

Real Madrid set to ban 17 supporters over offensive Barcelona chants - ESPN FC
Real Madrid intend to withdraw the season tickets belonging to 17 fans involved in insulting chants about Barcelona and Lionel Messi during the home win over Celta Vigo. Officials will recommend to the disciplinary board that the fans are banned from entering the stadium and the club, Spanish radio station Cope, quoted by AS, reported.

David Moyes suffers first defeat as Real Sociedad go down 4-0 at Villarreal | Sky Sports Football
The visitors withstood the pressure until the 63rd minute when Bruno Soriano's free-kick came off the underside of the bar and bounced off the body of goalkeeper Enaut Zubikarai to roll into the net. Denis Cheryshev added a second for Marcelino's men 10 minutes later and then substitute Moi Gomez scored two goals inside six minutes to make it 4-0 and pour more misery on Moyes, who had guided his troops to three clean sheets in his previous three games in charge of the Basques.

Granada score late to earn 1-1 draw with Valencia | Sky Sports Football
The visitors looked to be heading for a first victory in four games when Alvaro Negredo opened his account for the club with a stunning finish in the 84th minute. But the game took an unexpected turn when substitute Paco Alcacer was shown a straight red card, and Granada made the extra man count, Success getting the final touch to a late goalmouth scramble to secure a 1-1 draw.

Carlos Bacca's goal earns Sevilla victory at Rayo Vallecano | Sky Sports Football
An early strike from Carlos Bacca was enough for Champions League chasing Sevilla, who had midfielder Daniel Carrico sent off for a second bookable offence three minutes from time. It was hardly a surprise that the visitors ended the game a man light after picking up six bookings during the 90 minutes.

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