FC Barcelona vs. Espanyol : Match report and full analysis
Lionel Messi netted twice and set up two more to ensure Barcelona’s 4-1 win over crosstown neighbour Espanyol, which finished a rather hot-tempered Copa del Rey clash with nine players on Wednesday in the FC Barcelona vs. Espanyol match.
Felipe Caicedo grabbed Espanyol a swift ninth-minute lead at Camp Nou, but Messi struck right back four minutes later.
The star striker put the hosts at the front with an unstoppable free kick right before halftime, and assisted Gerard Pique soon following the interval of the FC Barcelona vs. Espanyol clash.
Messi then set up Neymar for the final fourth goal following when Espanyol’s Hernan Perez and Papakouly Diop were sent off, and Caicedo and Marco Asensio were out due to injury.
Tempers flared as the game went on, with Messi, Neymar, and Luis Suarez all receiving yellow cards, along with an astonishing eight for Espanyol.
The referee’s report also mentioned a rather heated exchange between opposing players after the match ended.
Espanyol’s Gerard Moreno remarked that some Barcelona players “were waiting for them” and “provoked” him and his teammates.
“There was tension and intensity,” Barca coach Luis Enrique admitted about the FC Barcelona vs. Espanyol. “The referees mark the limits, not the players or the coaches. They are the ones charged with ensuring this is soccer and not American football.”
Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal, summoned as a substitute, made their debut for Barcelona in the FC Barcelona vs. Espanyol match, after the club was done with its ban on new players during last year for breaking FIFA’s rules regarding the transfer for young players.
Caicedo went down holding his left thigh miserably near halftime, but the visitors’ defense line held firm until Messi fired his free kick streaking in off the underside of the crossbar.
Espanyol’s positivity took another blow when Asensio was readily replaced after he apparently received an injury during the halftime warm-ups of the FC Barcelona vs. Espanyol match.
It was somewhat all Barcelona along the rest of the way, as Messi set up Pique to tap in his goal following Iniesta’s incisive pass that started the move, ending the FC Barcelona vs. Espanyol match.