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Played
November 2, 2013 1:30 AM IST
Camp Nou — Barcelona
Referee:‬ Carlos Velasco‎
Attendance:‬ 79977‎
 
 
Top of the Match
Neymar
Neymar
Barcelona
Neymar
Neymar
Barcelona
Flop of the Match
Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Barcelona
Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Barcelona

Barcelona 1-0 Espanyol: Sanchez spares Blaugrana blushes

The winger added to his stunning goal in El Clasico with the winner on Friday night as his rebirth continues under Gerardo Martino

Barcelona vs Espanyol
AFP
Alexis Sanchez's Barcelona rebirth continued as he struck the only goal in Barcelona's 1-0 win over Espanyol in La Liga.

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 pin-point 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.


Barcelona

1
Víctor Valdés
Goalkeeper
3.00
2
Montoya
Defender
3.00
3
Piqué
Defender
3.00
22
Daniel Alves
Defender
2.50
6
Xavi
Midfielder
3.00
8
3.00
14
Javier Mascherano
Midfielder
77′ 89′
3.50
16
Busquets
Midfielder
2.50
9
3.50
10
Lionel Messi
Striker
2.00
11
Neymar
Striker
68′
3.50

Espanyol

3.50
13
Kiko Casilla
Goalkeeper
3.00
3
3.50
15
3.00
18
Fuentes
Defender
45′
3.50
6
Sidnei
Defender
3.00
4
3.00
14
David López
Midfielder
2.50
23
Abraham
Midfielder
83′
2.50
25
Gabriel Torje
Midfielder
2.50
9
3.00
37

Substitutes

13
 - 
15
Bartra
Defender
89′
 - 
4
Cesc Fàbregas
Midfielder
86′
 - 
17
Alex Song
Midfielder
 - 
24
Sergi Roberto
Midfielder
 - 
7
Pedro
Striker
83′
 - 
20
Tello
Striker
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
1
Germán
Goalkeeper
 - 
11
 - 
19
 - 
-
Sergio Tejera
Midfielder
 - 
12
Lanzarote
Striker
83′ 90′
 - 
22
3.00
24

Coach/Manager

Coach/Manager

3.50
-
 
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Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
28 6
Diego Costa Diego Costa
Striker
Atlético de Madrid
26 4
Lionel Messi Lionel Messi
Striker
Barcelona
25 6
Karim Benzema Karim Benzema
Striker
Real Madrid
17 0
Alexis Sánchez Alexis Sánchez
Striker
Barcelona
17 0