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Primera División

  • 18 December 2010
  • • 19:00
  • • Estadi Cornellà-El Prat, Cornella de Llobregat
  • Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco
  • • Attendance: 40010

Espanyol 1-5 Barcelona: Villa, Pedro and Xavi maintain flawless away record

Espanyol 1-5 Barcelona: Villa, Pedro and Xavi maintain flawless away record

Pep Guardiola's men maintain top spot

Barcelona emerged winners in their last La Liga game for 2010 as they overcame Espanyol in the Catalan derby.

A brace from Pedro and David Villa, as well as a goal from Xavi secured a comfortable win for the visitors, although Pablo Osvaldo salvaged a shred of pride for the hosts with a strike in the second half.

Neither team dominated the proceedings in the early in the game as Espanyol were succeeding in their efforts to break the visitors' slick passing game. Still, Barcelona got the first real chance of the game in the 10th minute when Lionel Messi missed the target on open goal.

Just before the twenty-minute mark, the visitors took the lead through Pedro. With Jose Maria Callejon struggling on the ground in Barca's half of the pitch, the visitors attacked on the break and the young Spain international put the finishing touch after being fed by Messi.

Espanyol tried to come back into the game quickly and almost drew level in the 22nd minute when Luis Garcia saw a wonderful free-kick saved by Victor Valdes. Once again, however, Barcelona hit the hosts on the break with half an hour on the clock as Xavi volleyed skilfully past Idriss Carlos Kameni on his second attempt to secure a two-goal cushion.

Espanyol had given up just yet and went close in the 35th minute when Callejon was released in the box by Garcia, but saw his powerful finish stopped by Valdes. In the last seconds of the first half David Villa was denied by a brilliant tackle by Victor Ruiz.

Five-star performance | Xavi's volley set Barcelona on their way to another rout

Five minutes into the second half,Barcelona could have made it three, had it not been for Pedro's poor decision to pass instead of shoot. Pep Guardiola’s side continued to dominate the game in the following minutes and deservedly scored a third in the 60th minute and it was Pedro who completed his brace as he forced a rebound into the net from a yard out.

Espanyol's answer was lightning fast as they scored one of their own just three minutes later. Callejon put in a wonderful through-ball for Osvaldo, who raced easily past Carles Puyol and clinically finished past Valdes from the right side of the box.

The goal gave the hosts much needed impetus and they started playing with a very high defensive line and soon paid for that. In the 74th minute Gerard Pique was released on the right by Sergio Busquets, but blasted his shot over the bar with only the goalkeeper to beat.

Villa made no such mistake two minutes later as he precisely finished past Kameni after being released by Messi with a through-ball. Eight minutes later, in a carbon copy of this situation, the Spanish international bagged his brace to put the icing on the cake.

Following tonight's result Barcelona are first in the standings with 43 points, while Espanyol are fourth with 28th. Mauricio Pochettino's team's next league game is a visit to Valencia on the 2nd January, while The Blaugrana host Levante on the same day.

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