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FC Barcelona News: 26 April 2015; Barcelona, Barça B Earn Wins, Thomas Vermaelen Gets Medical Clearance

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FC Barcelona centre back Thomas Vermaelen gets medical clearance | FC Barcelona
Five months after injuring his right leg, FC Barcelona's Belgian defender Thomas Vermaelen has received medical clearance. He underwent surgery back in December and will now be fully available for Luis Enrique in the home stretch of the season. Vermaelen was given the medical all-clear following Sunday morning's workout at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper. The full squad trained, although Rafinha did so individually.

RCD Espanyol v FC Barcelona: Derby delight (0-2) | FC Barcelona
Barça powered their way to victory at the Power8 Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Not even with an extra man could Espanyol find a response to two tremendous first half goals for the visitors, and with just five league games left to play, Barcelona remain in pole position for the Liga title.

Xavi makes 500th Liga appearance | FC Barcelona
After coming on as a substitute at the Power8 Stadium this Saturday, Xavi can now claim to have made 500 appearances in the Spanish Liga. All of those games have been in an FC Barcelona shirt and put the midfielder eighth in the all-time ranking.

Five keys to FC Barcelona's 2–0 victory at Power8 Stadium | FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona had six shots on goal in the first half while setting the pace of play with clockwork-like passing and ball control. After going up 2–0 before the break, Barça spent the remainder of the half playing keep away from an Espanyol that did nothing but chase.

Iniesta grateful for ovation from Espanyol fans | FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona beat Espanyol 2–0 on Saturday on goals from Neymar and Messi. After the big derby win, Andrés Iniesta gave his take: "We played a great first half and a very complete match. We knew that we had to play well to win here. We were very effective and didn’t give them any chances. It was a very special game for everyone and we’re leaving very happy." Iniesta also talked about the ovation he got when he was subbed out in the second half. "The Espanyol fans and I have a special bond, and I'm very grateful for the applause," he said.

Luis Enrique happy FC Barcelona still depend only on themselves | FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona head coach Luis Enrique knows how important it is to keep summing points on the road in the home stretch of a hotly contested league race. "We’ve survived another week and still depend on ourselves. That’s the most important thing," he said following his team’s 2–0 win on Saturday at Power Stadium over cross-city rivals RCD Espanyol. "Feeling doesn’t matter," he added. "It’s all about the wins and the points."

Alba: I didn’t disrespect Mateu | Football Espana
"The first card was for protesting. It’s true that I didn’t see it was a goal kick, I thought it was a corner," he said after the game. "I only said to him, ‘it’s always the same, it’s always me’. I didn’t say anything else. Although I’ve always had problems with him, I’ve always tried talking to him in a polite manner, but he always reacts."

Mateu apologises to Espanyol players? | Football Espana
According to Cadena COPE, the referee approached a group of Espanyol players in the tunnel after the final whistle and apologised for allowing Lionel Messi’s second goal to stand. It is claimed that Mateu Lahoz owned up to his error after he saw replays of the goal at half-time, in which Luis Suarez looked offside in the build-up to the Argentine’s finish.

FC Barcelona have pair of La Liga contests this week | FC Barcelona
After beating Espanyol 2–0 in Saturday’s Catalan derby, FC Barcelona have just five league games standing between them and the title. Their first test is on Tuesday versus Getafe at Camp Nou, with kickoff set for 8.00pm*. Then, at the weekend, Barça will be at Córdoba for yet another 4.00pm Saturday start. The Catalans are currently in first place in La Liga.

Only a Madrid miracle can stop Barcelona winning La Liga now - Goal.com
The title is edging ever closer to Barcelona. Luis Enrique's side swept aside city rival Espanyol in a potentially tricky test on Saturday, and is now in an almost unassailable position with five fixtures left in La Liga. The Catalan derby is often a complicated clash for the Blaugrana, but this one was all but over after 25 minutes. Barca, with 80 percent possession in the first half, created a number of chances early on and finally cracked its rival's resistance as Neymar slotted home a magnificent move after 17 minutes.

FC Barcelona B top Ponferradina 2–1 on late Munir goal | FC Barcelona
After an evenly contested first half, Alejandro Grimaldo opened the scoring in minute 50. But Ponferradina — one of the Second Division's most in-form sides — tied the match just ten minutes from time. Down to ten men after the expulsion of Sergi Palencia, and just when Ponferradina were pressing the most, Barça B's Munir El Haddadi controlled a long pass from Sergio Juste and volleyed past Kepa.

Barcelona B left back Grimaldo scored a glorious free-kick v Ponferradina [videos] | 101 Great Goals
Barcelona B grabbed a key win in their fight against the drop from the Spanish second division on Saturday. The Barcelona kids beat Ponferradina 2-1 thanks to goals from Alex Grimaldo and Munir. Grimaldo’s opener was a terrific strike from the 19-year-old left back.