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Spain - Primera Division
Celta de Vigo
January 8, 2012
• Estadi Cornellà-El Prat, Cornella de Llobregat
Referee: Javier Turienzo Álvarez
• Attendance: 35122
Full time! Espanyol earn dramatic draw against Barcelona as Alvaro Vazquez makes himself a hero with an 85th minute header! Thank you for joining us on Goal.com!
90' + 3'
Yellow Card Kiko Casilla
90' + 1'
Yellow Card Juan Daniel Forlín
Yellow Card Jordi Amat
Barcelona hit the post!!! Gerard Pique get into the box and smashes a left-footed shot off the woodwork before Pedro's rebound is blocked on the line! Incredible!
Fantastic end to the match! It is end to end stuff in the Catalan derby! Both teams are looking to grab that winning goal!
Yellow Card Sergio García
Assist Thievy Bifoum
GOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAL for Espanyol!!!!! Raul Rodriguez crosses in from the right and Thievy flicks the ball on at the near post and Alvaro is there to head home from inside the six yard box!!!!!
Barca have dropped deeper into their own half now. Perhaps looking to shut up shop for the remaining minutes.
Espanyol are starting to show signs of frustration. They are not seeing any of the ball at the moment and Barcelona look to be running down the clock with their passing now.
Cristian Alvarez goes down and looks to have suffered a bad injury. The Espanyol goalkeeper broke down in the box and looks to have a problem with his calf. Kiko Casila comes on to replace him.
Yellow Card Álvaro
Barcelona are still dominating possession but they have really struggled to create chances, especially in the second half. The credit for that has to go to a very solid Espanyol defensive unit.
Pedro shows some good skill and pace down the left to burst into the Espanyol box and looked to be ready to shoot on goal but Raul Rodriguez made an excellent challenge to claim the ball.
First Barcelona change of the night as Pedro replaces Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean has not had the best of nights.
Yellow Card Raúl Rodríguez
Xavi's set-piece goes well over the crossbar and does not pose any trouble for Cristian Alvarez. A wasted opportunity.
Free kick on the edge of the box as Raul Rodriguez brings down Alexis after the Chilean displayed some quick feet to suck in the challenge.
Alexis Sanchez breaks forward on the counter attack and stretches his legs down the right-hand side, the Chilean then slipped a pass into the centre meant for Fabregas but Alvarez did well to rush from goal to collect the ball.
Espanyol are growing more and more into the match now and the fans encourage the team to push forward.
First change of the match as Alvaro comes on to replace Cristian Romaric. Perhaps for the own good of the Espanyol man as he has been slightly hot headed in the game.
The Espanyol fans continue to create a vibrant atmosphere in the stadium and they can sense that Barcelona are struggling to break their side down at the moment. The next goal in the game is going to be very important.
A slightly quiet period in the game at the moment. Pedro and Adriano are warming up at the side of the pitch so perhaps Pep Guardiola is close to making some changes.
GOOOOOOOOAAAAAL FOR BARCELONA!! No! Another disallowed goal. Dani Alves received a pass through the middle and took the ball around Alvarez before passing home but the Brazilian was offside.
Barca have increased the tempo of their attacking play and are looking dangerous at the moment. Espanyol continue to defend well but the visitors are probing for the crucial second goal.
Espanyol continue to look dangerous on the counter attack but their final pass is letting them down. They are getting in very promising areas though.
Some neat passing around the Espanyol box from Barca as Pique sets up Dani Alves for a shot but the left-footed strike was easily saved by Alvarez.
Barcelona start the second half by continuing their domination of the possession. Espanyol remain solid for the time being.
Javier López Rodríguez
We are back underway. Espanyol kick off the second half and they will be somewhat buoyed by their efforts in their first half.
Half time in the Catalan derby. A Cesc Fabregas header is the difference between the sides at the break. Join us in 15 minutes for the second half!
45' + 1'
Yellow Card Romaric
Excellent play from Fabregas inside the box to evade the challenge of Hector Moreno and strike a snap shot on goal at the near post but Alvarez gets down to make the save.
Sergio Garcia shows some neat feet on the edge of the box and shoots on goal but his shot is deflected out by Pique for a corner kick.
Verdu goes on a jinking run into the Barca box and has a couple of opportunities to shoot but takes a few extra touches and Pique and Abidal eventually combine to win the ball back.
Espanyol have kept Barcelona at bay fairly well so far. Pep Guardiola's side have had the large majority of possession but the hosts have kept a solid shape at the back and are arguably unlucky to be a goal down.
Cagey period in the game at the moment. It is a bit of a midfield battle with Romaric and Forlin getting in the faces of Xavi, Iniesta, and Busquets.
Espanyol need to retain possession better and attempt to keep the ball on the floor. A number of long passes up to Sergio Garcia have been neatly dealt with by the Barca defenders.
Excellent challenge from Dani Alves to win the ball back for Barcelona after Cesc lost possession just outside the Espanyol box. Back to Barca possession in the opposition half.
Good determined play from Sergio Garcia down the left wing, taking on Pique with a powerful run, but the Barca centre back defended well and put the ball out for an Espanyol throw in.
Alexis finds space on the left wing and slips a nice pass down the channel for Iniesta who strikes on goal first time with a left-footed shot. Alvarez unconvincingly makes the save at the near post.
Some neat play inside the Espanyol box from Barcelona, Alves clipped a nice pass into the feet of Fabregas but the goalscorer's attempt at a back heel was stopped by solid defending from the home side.
Barcelona knocking the ball around inside the Espanyol half. The home side have looked fairly dangerous on the counter attack however, something Barca will need to be wary of.
The Espanyol fans break into applause as a sign of respect for former player Daniel Jarque, a practice done in every home match in the 21st minute.
Barca starting to boss the game now, the goal has given them a lot of confidence and there is a swagger to their play now.
Good play from Sergio Garcia, the Espanyol front man drives towards the Barca goal and unleashes a powerful shot on goal but Valdes makes a strong save!
Assist Daniel Alves
Goal Cesc Fàbregas
GOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAL FOR BARCELONA!! This time it counts!! Dani Alves clips the ball to the edge of the box and Fabregas fires a powerful header into the bottom right corner! Bad goalkeeping from Alvarez!
Yellow Card Messi
GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAL FOR BARCELONA!! Wait! No! Alvarez passes the ball straight to Messi and the Argentine squares it to Cesc who passes home! But the referee disallows the goal due to a handball by Messi!
Espanyol keeping the ball better at the moment. Possession is mostly being kept along the back line but the home side are knocking the ball around confidently.
Both teams attempting to establish a passing game but it is slightly cagey at the moment with possession being surrendered by both sides too easily.
A bright start to the match from Espanyol. The home fans seem very up for the game and there is a wonderful atmosphere inside the stadium.
Incredible action at the Barca goal! Joan Verdu heads on target at the back post and Victor Valdes make a wonderful save, just before Verdu blasts the rebound at goal only for Pique to clear off the line!
Alexis Sanchez starts the match on the left-hand side with Cesc through the middle and Messi on the right wing. Ofcourse the Barca front line often interchange positions in the final third.
Barcelona kick off the action in the derby and get straight into their passing game in the midfield area. Espanyol should expect to see a lot of this throughout the course of the match.
This is the starting XI of Barcelona: Valdes; Alves, Pique, Puyol, Abidal; Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta; Cesc, Messi, Alexis.
The teams are in and this is how Espanyol will be lining up tonight: Cristian Alvarez; Amat, Moreno, R.Rodriguez, Dídac; Forlin, Romaric; Weiss, Verdu, Thievy; Sergio Garcia.
I'm Martin Macdonald, and I will be reporting on the match this evening. You can follow me on Twitter at @MartinMac1 so feel free to post your thoughts, feelings, and predictions on the Catalan derby!
Hello! Welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of the Spanish Primera Division match between Espanyol and Barcelona at Estadi Cornelia El Prat.
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