Related

Article

La Liga: Barcelona 1 Espanyol 0

1 November 2013 22:51

Alexis Sanchez scored the only goal as Barcelona struggled to a 1-0 La Liga victory over city rivals Espanyol.

Despite dominating possession for large spells of the match, the leaders were frustrated by a well-organised visiting defence.

Alexis eventually broke the deadlock in the 69th minute when he tapped home from a pinpoint Neymar pass.

Barcelona have now won 21 league matches in a row on home soil and boast a four-point advantage over nearest rivals Atletico Madrid, who play on Sunday.

Gerard Pique returned from a hamstring injury but there was no place for Carles Puyol as Gerardo Martino made six changes from Tuesday’s 3-0 victory at Celta Vigo.

Espanyol made four alterations of their own, with Gabriel Torje among the players to come in.

After withstanding some early pressure from the hosts, Espanyol got a sight of goal in the sixth minute but Torje sent his eventual effort wide.

Alexis had an 18-yard strike punched away by Kiko Casilla at the other end as Barca went in search of a breakthrough.

With Martino’s men dominating possession, Dani Alves nodded the ball back for an advancing Alexis in the 28th minute, but the Chilean failed to get any purchase on a strike that was charged down in the penalty area.

The visitors could – and possibly should – have broken the deadlock against the run of play 10 minutes prior to the break. David Lopez was sent through one-on-one with Victor Valdes, only to be denied by the goalkeeper’s outstretched boot.

On the stroke of half-time, Alves exchanged passes brilliantly with Sergio Busquets just outside the penalty area before fizzing an 18-yard effort against the left-hand upright.

Barcelona continued to enjoy the lion’s share of the ball after the break, and Lionel Messi drew a superb diving save from Casilla in the 54th minute as he got his head to a looping Alves cross from the right.

With the hosts finding it difficult to break down a resolute Espanyol backline, Neymar created an angle for himself on the edge of the 18-yard box and curled a shot inches wide.

Barca finally broke the deadlock in the 68th minute as Neymar threaded a pass through the legs of two defenders to find a grateful Alexis, who was left with a simple tap-in at the far post.

Sergio Garcia forced Valdes into a save from close range with 10 minutes left as Espanyol chased an equaliser, before Messi curled a free-kick narrowly wide late on.

Sponsored links

Monday 27 March

Sunday 26 March

23:57
23:45
23:28
23:09
23:00
22:47
22:01
21:47
21:26
21:13
21:12
20:55
20:30
19:54
19:52
19:40
19:04
18:54
18:53
18:22
18:12
18:00
17:24
17:18
16:55
16:30
16:16
15:32
15:14
14:42
14:35
14:11
13:57
13:27
12:32
11:46
10:53
09:54
04:22
03:39
00:37
00:30
00:05
00:03
00:02

Saturday 25 March

23:31
23:23
23:00
22:47
22:38
22:36
22:36
22:01
21:48
21:39
21:38
19:11
19:07
19:04
18:49
17:42
17:29
17:28
17:03
16:23
16:16
16:01
14:59
14:56
14:05
13:39
13:03
12:15
12:14
11:41
10:55
10:09
05:58
04:58
04:53
03:53
03:14
00:33
00:15

Primera División table

# Team MP D P
1 27 +43 65
2 28 +56 63
3 28 +18 57
4 28 +29 55
5 28 +19 48
6 28 +3 48
7 28 +3 44
8 28 +5 41
9 28 +1 40
10 28 -4 40
11 27 -5 38
12 28 -1 35
13 28 -13 31
14 28 -13 30
15 28 -12 27
16 28 -12 27
17 28 -19 26
18 28 -26 21
19 28 -33 19
20 28 -39 11

Facebook