Gerard Pique preserved Barcelona’s unbeaten record as he headed home a late equaliser to rescue a 1-1 draw at Espanyol. The hosts had gone ahead when Gerard Moreno headed home the opener and Barca looked to be heading for a first defeat in really poor conditions until Pique came to the rescue.
Ernesto Valvere made changes to his side with Nelson Semedo and Lucas Digne back at full-back and Lionel Messi left on the bench with Paco Alcacer coming in.
It was a pretty even first half in the rain and Barca saw most of the ball but could not put it in the back of the net. Philippe Coutinho came close to opening his Barca account but his curling shot hit the underside of the crossbar.
Espanyol also had a couple of chances as Leo Baptistao got the better of Andres Iniesta but fired straight at Marc-Andre ter Stegen before heading another effort over the bar.
Luis Suarez fired a free kick just over the bar right before half-time but Barca could not make the breakthrough despite enjoying 76% of the possession in the opening 45 minutes.
Espanyol got the ball in the back of the net right at the start of the second half but it was correctly disallowed as the ball had gone out of play. Valverde then opted to change things and sent on Roberto and Messi.
The rain was still pouring down which was making the conditions really tricky, with large puddles on the pitch, the ball holding up and players sliding all over the place.
Espanyol then went ahead as Sergio Garcia picked up a poor kick out from Ter Stegen and crossed for Moreno to head home. Valverde then made his last change sending on Jordi Alba for Digne as he looked for an equaliser.
However, despite the substitutions Barcelona didn’t really look like scoring and looked to be heading for a first defeat of the season. Yet Valverde’s men proved their fighting qualities once again as Pique headed home Messi’s corner to rescue a point.
Espanyol: Lopez; Navarro, David Lopez, Naldo, Aaron; Sanchez, Darder; Baptistao, Granero, Jurado (Garcia); Moreno.
Goal: Moreno (66’)
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Semedo (Roberto), Pique, Umtiti, Digne (Alba); Coutinho, Paulinho, Busquets, Iniesta; Alcacer (Messi), Suarez.
Goal: Pique (82’)