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Played
May 5, 2012 8:00 PM BST
Camp Nou — Barcelona
Referee:‬ Fernando Teixeira‎
Attendance:‬ 98772‎
 
12′ Messi
 
64′ (PG) Messi
 
74′ Messi
 
79′ (PG) Messi
 
Top of the Match
Messi
Messi
FC Barcelona
Messi
Messi
FC Barcelona
Flop of the Match
Álvaro
Álvaro
Espanyol
Cristian Alvarez
Cristian Alvarez
Espanyol

Barcelona 4-0 Espanyol: Messi hits four to give Guardiola an emphatic Camp Nou swansong

The Argentine was in indomitable form as he single-handedly inspired the Blaugrana to an impressive victory over their local rivals in his coach's final home game

By Tom Webber

Lionel Messi
David Ramos
In what was Pep Guardiola's last match at Camp Nou, Barcelona faced little resistance as they thrashed Espanyol 4-0 in the Catalan derby on Saturday evening.

Four goals from Lionel Messi, taking his tally to 50 in this Liga campaign, was enough to ensure that bragging rights stayed with Barca once more. A superb free kick and a wonderful cross-goal shot were separated by two penalties for the Argentine, who is now almost a certainty for the Pichichi award.

Emotions were running high around the stadium before kick off with every Blaugrana looking to pay homage to Barca coach Guardiola. They began the game in a typically free-flowing manner and they were ahead in the 12th minute.

Messi won a free kick 25 yards from goal and got up to take it himself. From a right-of-centre position he bent the ball on goal and despite a taking a nick of Raul Baena, his effort flew just inside the post.

For their part Espanyol were doing their best to keep Barcelona's passing as far away from the final third as possible and the hosts were struggling to get a sight of goal.

Before the break Espanyol keeper Cristian Alvarez was forced into two vital stops to keep his side within touching distance of the hosts. First, he smothered the ball at Seydou Keita's feet as the Malian looked to round him in the area, then he got a strong hand to deny Andres Iniesta from a free kick.


               Time to say goodbye | Camp Nou faithful declares "We love you, Pep!"

Barca shifted to three at the back for the second half, allowing Adriano to play further up as they looked to unlock their stubborn neighbours.

The move began to reap rewards as the hosts asserted their dominance in the middle of the park. The Blaugrana were awarded a penalty in the 64th minute after a handball in the area by Cristian Gomez. Messi converted via the right-hand post to score his 70th goal in all competitions this season.

Juan Forlin tested Jose Pinto with a sweetly-struck volley but soon after, Barca extended their lead and it was the imperious Messi who was on target again for his eighth La Liga hat-trick this season. The Argentine latched onto Adriano's pass and his great first touch took the ball away from Victor Sanchez and he arrowed his shot across goal and into the bottom corner.

But it did not stop there. With 79 minutes on the clock the hosts were awarded another penalty when Sergio Busquets was brought down in the area. The ball was handed to Messi and he dispatched the spot-kick before going on to celebrate his 50th Liga goal with Guardiola.

The Argentine almost added a fifth in the dying moments but his dink over Alvarez dropped just the wrong side of the post. Nevertheless Guardiola will have been happy to have ended his current spell at Barcelona in front of the home fans with such an imperious display, condemning their city rivals to mid-table obscurity in the process.


FC Barcelona

13
3.00
5
Carles Puyol
Defender
89′
3.00
21
Adriano
Midfielder
74′ 78′
3.00
2
Montoya
Defender
70′
3.00
8
3.50
6
Thiago Alcántara
Midfielder
3.50
14
Javier Mascherano
Midfielder
3.50
-
Seydou Keita
Midfielder
66′
3.00
16
Busquets
Midfielder
21′ 79′
3.00
10
Messi
Striker
12′ 64′ 74′ 79′
4.50
7
Pedro
Striker
3.00

Espanyol

2.50
-
3.00
3
2.50
15
2.50
16
2.50
6
2.50
12
2.50
7
Raúl Baena
Midfielder
2.50
10
Verdú
Midfielder
80′
3.00
40
Vladimir Weiss
Midfielder
2.50
4
2.50
26
Álvaro
Striker
66′

Substitutes

1
 - 
22
 - 
22
 - 
15
Bartra
Defender
 - 
6
Xavi
Midfielder
79′
 - 
4
Cesc Fàbregas
Midfielder
66′
2.50
19
 - 
20
Tello
Striker
78′ 85′
2.50

Substitutes

 - 
13
Kiko Casilla
Goalkeeper
 - 
2
Jordi Amat
Defender
3.00
10
Coutinho
Midfielder
66′
 - 
8
 - 
35
RUI Fonte
Midfielder
 - 
-
Kalu Uche
Striker
 - 
-
Pandiani
Striker

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
  • 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
C. Ronaldo C. Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
28 6
Diego Costa Diego Costa
Striker
Atl. Madrid
26 4
Messi Messi
Striker
Barcelona
25 6
Karim Benzema Karim Benzema
Striker
Real Madrid
17 0
Alexis Sánchez Alexis Sánchez
Striker
Barcelona
17 0