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Played
January 6, 2013 1:00 PM EST
Camp Nou — Barcelona
Referee:‬ Jesús Gil‎
Attendance:‬ 73760‎
 
10′ Xavi
 
15′ Pedro
 
27′ Pedro
 
29′ (PG) Lionel Messi
 
Top of the Match
Pedro
Pedro
Barcelona
Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Barcelona
Flop of the Match
Héctor Moreno
Héctor Moreno
Espanyol
Héctor Moreno
Héctor Moreno
Espanyol

Barcelona 4-0 Espanyol: Derby delight for brilliant Blaugrana

An electric opening 30 minutes in which Xavi and Lionel Messi scored on either side of a Pedro brace was enough to secure victory against their city rivals

By Tom Webber

Barcelona picked up its 17th win of the season with an emphatic 4-0 victory over Catalan neighbor Espanyol at Camp Nou.

A sublime opening half hour from Barca proved to do all the damage, with Xavi opening the scoring after just 10 minutes. Pedro soon netted a double before Lionel Messi slid home from the spot after Cesc Fabregas was brought down in the area.

The winter break proved not to have hindered the Blaugrana's typically flowing football, as they took command of the game from the first second, seemingly buoyed by the return of Tito Vilanova to the bench after surgery for a tumor relapse in his throat.

Operating from the left, Andres Iniesta was dancing past the Espanyol defense with ease, and it only took 10 minutes for him to create the opening goal. Having been picked out in space by Messi, Iniesta drilled a low cross into the area where Xavi arrived to slot home unmarked.

The hosts were unrelenting, and after Kiko Casilla made a great save to keep out Iniesta in the 13th minute, it took just another two minutes for the second to come.

Fabregas displayed great balance as he dribbled past Javi Lopez before cutting the ball back to Messi. The Argentine flicked it into the path of Pedro, who managed to make enough of a connection to send the ball into the far corner.

Midway through the half Sergio Garcia blazed a golden chance to cut the deficit in half over the bar, and it proved costly as Pedro added Barcelona's third in the 27th minute. Busquets' perfectly-weighted through-ball was tucked away by the winger with a delightful first-time dink over the keeper.

It went from bad to worse for Javier Aguirre's men as Casilla was judged to have illegaly brought down Fabregas inside the area just two minutes later. Messi was given the responsibility of the spot-kick and he nonchalantly slotted in his 27th Liga goal of the season.

The rampant Catalan giants soon stepped off the gas though and cruised into the break with the game seemingly already won, but the second half did not bring about a change in the pattern of the game as Barca continued to retain the ball, forcing the Periquitos to chase the ball.

The cutting, clinical nature of the hosts had ebbed in the second half, and Pedro can count himself unlucky not to have bagged his hat trick as he twice had the ball in the net again, only to see the goals chalked off for debateable offside decisions.

Espanyol almost grabbed a consolation goal as Juan Angel Albin pounced on a short pass back to Victor Valdes by Gerard Pique, but the Uruguayan could not find a way past the goalkeeper.

The humiliation was almost compounded in the 82nd minute as Messi struck a fantastic 30-yard free kick at goal but the crossbar saved the flailing Casilla.

The victory moves Barcelona 12 points clear at the top of the table, though that could move back to nine should Atletico Madrid defeat Mallorca later on Sunday.


Barcelona

1
Víctor Valdés
Goalkeeper
3.00
22
Daniel Alves
Defender
3.00
3
Piqué
Defender
3.00
5
Carles Puyol
Defender
3.00
18
Jordi Alba
Defender
3.50
4
Cesc Fàbregas
Midfielder
66′
3.50
6
Xavi
Midfielder
10′ 63′
4.00
8
3.50
16
Busquets
Midfielder
27′
4.00
10
Lionel Messi
Striker
15′ 29′
3.00
7
Pedro
Striker
15′ 27′ 75′
4.50

Espanyol

3.00
13
Kiko Casilla
Goalkeeper
28′
2.50
6
1.50
15
2.50
16
2.50
19
2.00
11
2.50
4
2.00
10
Verdú
Midfielder
63′
2.50
20
Simão
Midfielder
77′
2.50
7
Raúl Baena
Midfielder
53′ 60′
3.00
9

Substitutes

13
 - 
2
Montoya
Defender
 - 
6
3.00
14
 - 
17
Alex Song
Midfielder
 - 
9
3.00
9
3.00

Substitutes

 - 
1
Germán
Goalkeeper
 - 
3
2.50
-
J. Albín
Midfielder
77′
 - 
8
2.50
41
Alfonso
Midfielder
60′
2.50
8
Stuani
Striker
63′ 73′

Coach/Manager

Coach/Manager

2.00
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
28 6
Diego Costa Diego Costa
Striker
Atlético de Madrid
27 5
Lionel Messi Lionel Messi
Striker
Barcelona
26 6
Karim Benzema Karim Benzema
Striker
Real Madrid
17 0
Alexis Sánchez Alexis Sánchez
Striker
Barcelona
17 0