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Summary

  1. Messi strikes with superb free-kick
  2. Turan and Vidal make Barcelona debuts
  3. Barcelona rivals drew 0-0 on Saturday in league
  4. Copa del Rey round of 16 first leg

Live Reporting

By Emlyn Begley

All times stated are UK

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FULL-TIME - Barcelona 4-1 Espanyol

Barcelona win tonight's leg and realistically they're surely into the Copa del Rey quarter-finals.

Lionel Messi squares to Luis Suarez, who misses an open goal. And that's the last action.

Luis Suarez almost adds a fifth as he chases onto a through-ball but the defence just about clear.

15 - Lionel Messi has assisted Neymar 15 times, more than any other @FCBarcelona player (all competitions). Magic.

INJURY TIME

We're halfway through four minutes. The game is up by this stage.

GOAL - Barcelona 4-1 Espanyol

Neymar

A world-class goal by world-class players in a world-class team. Neymar plays the ball to Lionel Messi, who lofts a first-time pass over the defenders and Neymar is on the other end to volley home with venom. Fantasy football.

Neymar celebrates
AFP/GETTY

Neymar nutmegs Javi Lopez, who goes in with a studs-up challenge. If he'd made contact Espanyol would have finished with eight men.

Luis Suarez crosses in the 'corridor of uncertainty' but no-one is there to turn it in - it lands to Aleix Vidal but his effort is blocked wide for a corner.

Can Barca kill this tie off against nine men?

A corner comes in which Espanyol keeper Pau Lopez misses and Luis Suarez - not expecting the ball to come to him - heads wide of an empty net from four yards out.

He is angry with Lopez about something and Gerard Pique - rarely a peacekeeper - drags him away. This is a proper heated derby.

YELLOW CARD

Lionel Messi and Espanyol defender Enzo Roco are both booked. It's mayhem at the Nou Camp!

It's all kicking off. Both sets of players are starting to clash on a regular basis now. Could we lose another player in the final 13 minutes?

RED CARD FOR ESPANYOL

Espanyol are down to nine! Pape Diop, who was already booked, is sent off for what I presume is dissent as he moaned to Luis Suarez and the referee.

YELLOW CARD

Gerard Pique is booked and he's furious. He's battling for the ball with Victor Alvarez, who goes down holding his face - even though Pique's arm never went near it. Horrendous dive.

RED CARD FOR ESPANYOL

Espanyol midfielder Hernan Perez takes Jordi Alba down off the ball. It's a second booking and he's got to go. A bit of a surprise it took this long for someone to be sent off.

I predicted Lionel Messi would take the next free-kick - he did but it's straight at keeper Pau Lopez.

SUBSTITUTION

Aleix Vidal becomes Barcelona's second debutant today - the versatile defender/midfielder comes on for Dani Alves. So he'll go in at right-back.

The other debutant comes off, Arda Turan is replaced by Ivan Rakitic.

Lionel Messi - who scored a free-kick earlier - steps over this one and Neymar shoots but keeper Pau Lopez palms it away. I think Messi will be taking the next one.

Lionel Messi goes on a dribble and Pape Diop - who was already booked - brings him down just outside the box. He might regret that.

Lionel Messi is fired up here - he gets the ball in the box but concedes a free-kick as he tries to climb over an Espanyol player to get the ball. Barcelona in total control.

Lionel Messi finds debutant Arda Turan, wearing the number seven jersey, and his shot is saved down low at the near post from Pau Lopez.

The Turkey international has had a solid debut - but that was his first major involvement.

SUBSTITUTION

Espanyol make an attacking change as Burgui comes on for Abraham in midfield.

Lionel Messi cuts in from the right and fires one just wide from outside the box. Textbook Messi - bar the miss obviously!

Lionel Messi drives towards goal
AFP/GETTY

YELLOW CARD

Hernan Perez becomes the fifth Espanyol player to be booked - he hacks Neymar from behind. Nasty.

Replays have just shown that last incident - Pau Lopez appeared to stand on Lionel Messi's shin as he stood up. Looked intentional and the goalkeeper has already been booked. Very lucky there.

Arda Turan tries to cross it into Lionel Messi but keeper Pau Lopez gets the ball and then he does something to anger the Argentine. I'm not sure the cameras caught it but Messi was furious - which is rare.

YELLOW CARD

Espanyol midfielder Pape Diop, not the ex-Fulham guy, is booked for a late tackle on Sergio Busquets. The fourth Espanyol player to be shown a yellow.

GOAL - Barcelona 3-1 Espanyol

Gerard Pique

Andres Iniesta slips the ball down the left for Lionel Messi and the Argentine's cross is turned in from two yards out by a sliding Gerard Pique. Tie over?

Gerard Pique celebrates
Getty Images

Barcelona left-back Jordi Alba looks injured after Hernan Perez accidentally stood on the back of his foot while they chased a ball.

KICK-OFF - Barcelona 2-1 Espanyol

Under way in the second quarter of this tie, as it were.

Espanyol made a switch at the break, Salva Sevilla replacing Marco Asensio - who assisted their goal - in midfield.

Here Barcelona's players come, Espanyol must have been on the pitch for three minutes now. Almost ready to go.

Espanyol's players have been on the pitch for a couple of minutes waiting now. Barcelona's team nowhere to be seen.

Italian Serie A

Title chasers Napoli have just gone 2-1 up against Torino in Serie A, Marek Hamsik nutmegging the keeper to restore their lead.

2 - Most attempts from direct free-kicks this season (all comps): Cristiano Ronaldo 1/25 LIONEL MESSI 4/24 Superb.

Some news in while we take a half-time breather.

Manchester United have recalled winger Adnan Januzaj from his loan spell at Borussia Dortmund.

The 20-year-old had not played since 10 December and only made six Bundesliga substitute appearances.

HALF-TIME - Barcelona 2-1 Espanyol

A good first half, much better than Saturday. Espanyol led but two Lionel Messi strikes - the second a brilliant free-kick - have put the hosts in control.

YELLOW CARDS

Espanyol keeper Pau Lopez clashes with Arda Turan. Then he and Luis Suarez square up. Lopez and Suarez are booked - no card for Turan.

GOAL - Barcelona 2-1 Espanyol

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi has scored a lot of free-kicks in his career but this must be one of the best. He lines up an effort almost 30 yards out and smashes it home off the underside of the crossbar. Majestic.

Lionel Messi
Getty Images

SUBSTITUTION

Felipe Caicedo tries to play on but he's collapsed again on the ground while Barcelona play on around him. He's coming off for Joan Jordan.

There's a bit of pushing and shoving amongst both groups of players unhappy with things. Grown men.