Spanish La Liga
Espanyol0Barcelona3

Espanyol 0-3 Barcelona

Luis Suarez
Luis Suarez takes advantage of a dreadful backpass to fire Barcelona ahead against Espanyol

Barcelona retained top spot in La Liga as Luis Suarez scored twice to secure victory in the derby against Espanyol.

After Real Madrid moved three points ahead by beating Valencia earlier on Saturday, Barcelona's title bid looked to be faltering in a nervy first half.

But Jose Manuel Jurado's reckless 50th-minute backpass found Suarez, who fired low under keeper Diego Lopez.

Ivan Rakitic doubled the lead before Suarez capitalised on another Espanyol error to add a late third.

Barca are level on points with Real but are top because of a superior head-to-head record.

Luis Enrique's side are also ahead on goal difference, but Real will claim the title if they win each of their remaining four league matches as they have a game in hand.

Barcelona have scored 104 goals in 35 La Liga games this season
Barcelona have scored 104 goals in 35 La Liga games this season

Despite dominating possession throughout, Barcelona's feted front three of Lionel Messi, Suarez and Neymar were sluggish before the break, misplacing passes and failing to register a shot on target.

The visitors were gifted the lead, however, when ex-Watford midfielder Jurado tried to curve a pass back to Lopez with the outside of his foot, contriving only to give Suarez a free run on goal.

La Liga top six

That mistake compounded an earlier one from Jurado, who dragged an effort well wide when through on goal as the hosts split the Barcelona defence apart on five minutes, in what proved to be their best chance of the game.

Even after Suarez's opener, Espanyol held firm against their neighbours until Messi carved them apart with a surging run on 76 minutes, rolling the ball to Rakitic for a simple finish.

Espanyol left-back Aaron Martin then produced a horrid mis-kick when attempting to clear a cross, allowing Suarez to score his 26th league goal of the season.

'We are annoyed'

Espanyol boss Quique Sanchez Flores: "We are annoyed, but tomorrow we will be better.

"Football is a game of errors and has given a situation that has harmed us, but is part of the game. We are annoyed, but tomorrow we will be better."

Barcelona boss Luis Enrique: "I think we read the game well, although there are always things we can improve, and I'm satisfied with what I saw.

"If you play a first half like that, with rhythm and intensity, you tire out your opponent, that then gave us a chance in the second half to find more space.

"Even though it might seem we played much better in the second half than in the first, I was very happy with the team's performance in the first half, and I think this is a well-deserved victory."

Race for the La Liga title

BarcelonaReal Madrid
6 May: Villarreal (h)6 May: Granada (a)
14 May: Las Palmas (a)14 May: Sevilla (h)
21 May: Eibar (h)21 May: Malaga (a)
Celta Vigo* TBA (a)
* match was postponed in February

Line-ups

Espanyol

  • 13López
  • 16López
  • 15López
  • 23Reyes
  • 12MartínBooked at 58mins
  • 14Jurado
  • 4Sánchez
  • 18FuegoBooked at 68minsSubstituted forRocaat 79'minutes
  • 19PiattiSubstituted forPérezat 66'minutes
  • 7MorenoBooked at 14mins
  • 10CaicedoSubstituted forBaptistaoat 61'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Jiménez
  • 3Duarte
  • 11Baptistao
  • 17Pérez
  • 20Diop
  • 28Roca
  • 31Navarro

Barcelona

  • 1ter Stegen
  • 20Sergi
  • 3Piqué
  • 23Umtiti
  • 18Alba
  • 4Rakitic
  • 5Busquets
  • 21André GomesSubstituted forMascheranoat 78'minutes
  • 10Messi
  • 9L Suárez
  • 11Neymar

Substitutes

  • 6D Suárez
  • 7Turan
  • 13Cillessen
  • 14Mascherano
  • 17Alcácer
  • 19Digne
  • 28Aleñá
Referee:
Alberto Undiano Mallenco
Attendance:
31,082

Match Stats

Home TeamEspanyolAway TeamBarcelona
Possession
Home35%
Away65%
Shots
Home6
Away15
Shots on Target
Home3
Away9
Corners
Home4
Away5
Fouls
Home19
Away18

Live Text

Match ends, Espanyol 0, Barcelona 3.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Espanyol 0, Barcelona 3.

Offside, Espanyol. Javi López tries a through ball, but Gerard Moreno is caught offside.

Attempt saved. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Luis Suárez.

Attempt saved. Neymar (Barcelona) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Luis Suárez with a through ball.

Attempt saved. Leo Baptistao (Espanyol) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by David López.

Goal!

Goal! Espanyol 0, Barcelona 3. Luis Suárez (Barcelona) left footed shot from very close range to the bottom left corner.

Foul by Luis Suárez (Barcelona).

Víctor Sánchez (Espanyol) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Sergi Roberto (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Víctor Sánchez (Espanyol).

Attempt saved. Sergi Roberto (Barcelona) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Neymar.

Attempt saved. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jordi Alba.

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Diego Reyes.

Substitution

Substitution, Espanyol. Marc Roca replaces Javi Fuego.

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Javier Mascherano replaces André Gomes.

Goal!

Goal! Espanyol 0, Barcelona 2. Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Lionel Messi.

Luis Suárez (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Diego Reyes (Espanyol).

Sergio Busquets (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Víctor Sánchez (Espanyol).

Jordi Alba (Barcelona) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Hernán Pérez (Espanyol).

Marc-André ter Stegen (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Hernán Pérez (Espanyol).

Attempt saved. Jurado (Espanyol) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Javi Fuego.

Dangerous play by Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona).

Gerard Moreno (Espanyol) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt saved. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

Booking

Javi Fuego (Espanyol) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Lionel Messi (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Javi Fuego (Espanyol).

Attempt saved. Gerard Moreno (Espanyol) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Víctor Sánchez.

Foul by André Gomes (Barcelona).

Víctor Sánchez (Espanyol) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Espanyol. Hernán Pérez replaces Pablo Piatti.

Dangerous play by Sergio Busquets (Barcelona).

Víctor Sánchez (Espanyol) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Neymar (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Javi López (Espanyol).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Barcelona352564104337181
2Real Madrid34256392395381
3Atl Madrid35218665254071
4Sevilla34208660402068
5Villarreal35189852282463
6Real Sociedad35194125448661
7Ath Bilbao341851148381059
8Eibar34149115245751
9Espanyol351311114547-250
10Alavés341112113240-845
11Celta Vigo33135154954-544
12Valencia35117175061-1140
13Malaga34109154049-939
14Las Palmas35109165266-1439
15Real Betis34107173753-1637
16Deportivo La Coruña34710173757-2031
17Leganés3479183051-2130
18Sporting Gijón3559213870-3224
19Granada3548232874-4620
20Osasuna3439223582-4718
View full Spanish La Liga table

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