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

Tuesday 2 June

Monday 1 June

21:51
20:29
19:24
19:18
19:18
18:25
18:11
17:52
17:38
17:31
16:54
15:06
15:00
14:00
13:59
13:31
13:00
12:13
12:09
11:18
10:50
10:44
10:31
10:02
09:27
08:49
07:52
07:40
07:22
06:33
06:22
05:48
04:59
04:59
03:56
03:39
03:17
03:10
02:25
01:12
00:41
00:35

Sunday 31 May

23:51
23:11
22:59
20:15
19:13
18:17
17:46
17:44
17:32
17:28
16:28
16:16
15:39
14:40
14:37
13:55
13:30
13:12
13:00
12:03
11:03
10:10
10:05
09:19
06:57
05:30
03:40
03:37
02:32
01:48
00:10
00:06
00:02

Primera División table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +89 94
2 38 +80 92
3 38 +38 78
4 38 +38 77
5 38 +26 76
6 38 +11 60
7 38 +1 55
8 38 +3 51
9 38 -6 50
10 38 -4 49
11 38 -22 49
12 38 -7 46
13 38 -27 41
14 38 -33 37
15 38 -31 37
16 38 -25 35
17 38 -35 35
18 38 -21 35
19 38 -29 32
20 38 -46 20

Facebook