It took a while, but Barcelona were able to break down and beat Espanyol 3-0 on Saturday to win a crucial Catalan Derby and stay alive in the La Liga title race. In what was a physical game that lacked quality, the Blaugrana were clinical and efficient to take their chances and get three key points.
The first half was really hard to watch: both teams were very physical, especially the hosts, and we saw a lot of stoppages because of fouls, players arguing and a few more fouls. Barça defended badly but slowly grew into the game, taking control of possession and moving it nicely in the final third.
Despite their domination at the end of the period, there weren't any real chances for either side, and we had a goalless draw at halftime.
The final period started with Luis Suárez ending a five-game goal drought and putting the Catalans ahead after an awful pass from an Espanyol player came straight to the Uruguayan, who couldn't miss.
The goal cemented Barça's dominance in the game, and the Blaugrana began to open the hosts up and find chances. Lionel Messi was fantastic as always and set up Ivan Rakitic for the dagger. 2-0 Barça. Suárez still got another after another Espanyol mistake and put the exclamation point in Barça's victory.
Espanyol went forward looking for something to spark life into the game, but Barça were in control and ran out the clock to confirm a giant victory that keeps them alive in the title race. We're still here, Real Madrid.
Espanyol: López; J.López, D.López, Reyes, Aarón; Jurado, Sánchez, Fuego (Roca), Piatti (Pérez); Moreno, Caicedo (Léo Baptistão)
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Piqué, Umtiti, Alba; Busquets, Rakitic, Gomes (Mascherano); Messi, Suárez, Neymar
Goals: Suárez (50', 87'), Rakitic (76')
RCD Espanyol de Barcelona, SAD VS. FC Barcelona POST-MATCH ANALYSIS and Q&A. HAY LIGA!!Posted by Barca Blaugranes on שבת 29 אפריל 2017