Spanish La Liga
Espanyol0Barcelona4

Espanyol 0-4 Barcelona: Lionel Messi scores twice as champions ease to victory

Lionel Messi celebrates scoring the opening goal for Barcelona against Espanyol in La Liga
Lionel Messi opened the scoring against Espanyol with a close-range free-kick

Lionel Messi scored two direct free-kicks in a single La Liga game for the first time as Barcelona beat Espanyol to move three points clear at the top.

Messi first found the top corner from the edge of the penalty area to put the visitors ahead.

Ousmane Dembele doubled Barca's lead with a curling finish before Luis Suarez made it 3-0 from a tight angle.

Another sensational Messi set-piece - this time from further out - completed the victory.

Sevilla had missed the chance to leapfrog Ernesto Valverde's side earlier on Saturday as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Valencia.

That allowed Atletico Madrid, who recorded a comfortable 3-0 victory over fourth-placed Alaves, to briefly move level on points with the top two.

Barca, who face Tottenham in the Champions League on Tuesday, also hit the woodwork twice in a one-sided first half, Suarez slicing against the post from Messi's pass before the latter crashed a header against the other post.

Espanyol improved after the interval and had a goal disallowed for offside when Oscar Duarte stabbed home Sergio Garcia's cross from close range, but a comeback was never a serious possibility for the hosts.

The win cements Barcelona's place at the La Liga summit, while Espanyol drop to ninth after slipping to a fourth consecutive league defeat.

Line-ups

Espanyol

  • 13López
  • 16López Rodríguez
  • 15López
  • 6Duarte
  • 12ViláBooked at 79mins
  • 17PérezSubstituted forBaptistaoat 59'minutes
  • 10DarderSubstituted forGraneroat 74'minutes
  • 21Roca
  • 4Sánchez
  • 14MelendoSubstituted forGarcíaat 63'minutes
  • 7Iglesias

Substitutes

  • 1Jiménez
  • 5Gomes Pereira
  • 8Rosales
  • 9García
  • 11Baptistao
  • 19Piatti
  • 23Granero

Barcelona

  • 1ter Stegen
  • 2Nélson Semedo
  • 3Piqué
  • 15Lenglet
  • 18Alba
  • 4RakiticSubstituted forD Suárezat 82'minutes
  • 5Busquets
  • 22Vidal
  • 10Messi
  • 9SuárezSubstituted forEl Haddadiat 79'minutes
  • 11DembéléSubstituted forCoutinhoat 68'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6D Suárez
  • 7Coutinho
  • 13Cillessen
  • 19El Haddadi
  • 21Aleñá
  • 24Vermaelen
  • 27Miranda
Referee:
Carlos del Cerro Grande
Attendance:
24,037

Match Stats

Home TeamEspanyolAway TeamBarcelona
Possession
Home45%
Away55%
Shots
Home15
Away17
Shots on Target
Home3
Away9
Corners
Home11
Away4
Fouls
Home16
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Espanyol 0, Barcelona 4.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Espanyol 0, Barcelona 4.

Foul by Arturo Vidal (Barcelona).

Sergio García (Espanyol) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt blocked. Munir El Haddadi (Barcelona) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Denis Suárez.

Gerard Piqué (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Víctor Sánchez (Espanyol).

Foul by Jordi Alba (Barcelona).

Esteban Granero (Espanyol) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Arturo Vidal (Barcelona) because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Dídac Vilá (Espanyol) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Borja Iglesias.

Attempt missed. Borja Iglesias (Espanyol) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Víctor Sánchez.

Foul by Arturo Vidal (Barcelona).

Sergio García (Espanyol) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

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

Foul by Víctor Sánchez (Espanyol).

Corner, Espanyol. Conceded by Jordi Alba.

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

Foul by Borja Iglesias (Espanyol).

Corner, Espanyol. Conceded by Clément Lenglet.

Attempt blocked. Leo Baptistao (Espanyol) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Esteban Granero.

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Dídac Vilá.

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Denis Suárez replaces Ivan Rakitic.

Attempt missed. Víctor Sánchez (Espanyol) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Sergio García following a corner.

Corner, Espanyol. Conceded by Clément Lenglet.

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Javi López.

Attempt blocked. Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Munir El Haddadi replaces Luis Suárez.

Booking

Dídac Vilá (Espanyol) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

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

Foul by Dídac Vilá (Espanyol).

Clément Lenglet (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Leo Baptistao (Espanyol).

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

VAR: Goal. Referee decision on field cancelled.

Substitution

Substitution, Espanyol. Esteban Granero replaces Sergi Darder.

Delay in match (Barcelona). Video Review.

Offside, Espanyol. Sergio García tries a through ball, but Óscar Duarte is caught offside.

Foul by Gerard Piqué (Barcelona).

goal

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Saturday 8th December 2018

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Barcelona1594241192231
2Sevilla1584327161128
3Atl Madrid1577121101128
4Alavés157351817124
5Real Madrid147252219323
6Getafe155641612421
7Levante146352321221
8Girona145631716121
9Espanyol156361720-321
10Celta Vigo155552824420
11Real Sociedad145451716119
12Real Betis145451417-319
13Valencia153931212018
14Eibar145361519-418
15Real Valladolid144551114-317
16Leganés154561519-417
17Villarreal153571519-414
18Ath Bilbao141851423-911
19Rayo Vallecano142481528-1310
20Huesca141491229-177
View full Spanish La Liga table

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