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Barcelona v Espanyol Live Commentary, 20/11/2021

FT
1 - 0
BAR
ESP
M. Depay (48 pen)
Camp Nou

Commentary

That's all for today, goodbye! 
That win means that Barcelona move up to sixth in the table and they're now unbeaten in four in all competitions. Next up for them is Benfica in the Champions League. Espanyol miss out on the chance to leapfrog their opponents in the table, staying 11th. They face Real Sociedad next time out.
Depay's second-half penalty seals a 1-0 for Barcelona over Espanyol in Xavi's first game in charge. Depay, Gavi and Busquets all saw chances saved in the first half, but it was early in the second that the points were won. Depay won a penalty less than a minute after the break and confidently slotted it home. Espanyol kept pushing and De Tomas had two late chances to equalise for his side, but he hit the post from a free-kick and an unmarked header.
90' + 7' FULL-TIME: BARCELONA 1-0 ESPANYOL.
Loren Morón
Darder
Espanyol
90' + 5' Espanyol are making a late change as they search for an equaliser. Darder is taken off and replaced by Moron.
L. Cabrera
Yellow Card
Espanyol
90' + 3' Cabrera can't get anywhere near the ball, so he simply pushes Ezzalzouli to ground and is shown a yellow card. 
90' + 1' GOOD SAVE! Into six minutes of added time here, and Barcelona are trying to add to their lead. Depay breaks down the right, holding off Cabrera before drilling a shot across goal, but it's punched away by Lopez.
M. ter Stegen
Yellow Card
Barcelona
89' Ter Stegen is booked for time-wasting after taking too long over his goal-kick.
R. Araújo
Nico González
Barcelona
88' And Gonzalez is being led away by the medical team, with Araujo on in his place.
Y. Demir
Óscar Mingueza
Barcelona
88' Mingueza also went down, and it looks like he's struggling with a muscle injury. He goes straight off, with Demir on for him.
87' Gonzalez is receiving treatment at the other end of the pitch after a collision with Pedrosa, and he's helped to his feet by the medical team. He's limping down the sideline, and it looks like that's the end of his game. 
86' OFF THE POST! Gonzalez went down off the ball for Barcelona and the home fans are furious as Espanyol played on. They work it upfield well, with Melamed swinging in a great cross for De Tomas. He heads his effort back across goal but sees another effort rebound off the post. 
84' CLOSE! Espanyol's free-kick is cleared by Garcia but it comes out to Vidal, who touches it into Wu. He lifts a great cross back into the middle, where Dimata has peeled off the back of Pique, but he thumps his header just wide of the far post.
F. de Jong
Yellow Card
Barcelona
83' De Jong caught Wu in his attempts to stop the run and is booked for his late challenge.
81' OFF THE POST! De Tomas steps up to take the free-kick just outside the box, and it's a good hit from him. He lifts his shot over the wall, but it's always curling away from the target, and it hits the outside of the post.
80' Puig stepped in to try and stop Wu from getting in on goal but ended up gifting the ball to Dimata on the edge of the box instead. Pique was quickly across to him, but he's given away a free-kick in a good position.
Riqui Puig
Sergio Busquets
Barcelona
78' There's a change for Barcelona as well as Puig is brought on for Busquets.
Wu Lei
Adri Embarba
Espanyol
78' There's another double change for Espanyol here. Embarba is the first to make way, with Wu on for him.
L. Dimata
Y. Herrera
Espanyol
77' And Herrera is also taken off, with Dimata on in his place. 
76' This is a good spell of possession for Espanyol, but it's all in front of Barcelona at the moment. The hosts are dropping deep and making it hard for them to find a way through.
74' CHANCE! Ezzalzouli cuts inside skips away from two challenges down the right before cutting inside. He drags the ball away from another defender before curling a shot towards the far corner, but it's too high and sails over the bar.
72' Coutinho makes a good run down the left, pulling away from Vidal into space before squaring it into Gonzalez. His first touch is heavy though and he knocks it straight to Morlanes. 
Philippe Coutinho
Gavi
Barcelona
70' Second change for Barcelona now as Gavi is taken off and replaced by Coutinho.
69' MISS! Cabrera plays a long ball over the top and De Tomas times his run perfectly to stay onside. He reaches it ahead of Pique before hitting a shot from the edge of the box. He slices at it though, sending it wide of the near post.
68' SAVE! Embarba steps up to take the free-kick which is at a tight angle on the left. He goes for goal, curling his shot over the wall, but it's pushed away at the near post by Ter Stegen.
67' Pedrosa drives forward down the left and there's another coming together between him and Ezzalzouli. The contact came just outside the box, despite the left-back asking for a penalty, and Espanyol have a free-kick.
65' OFFSIDE! Gonzalez slides a good throughball into De Jong and he has acres of space ahead of him as he's one-on-one with the keeper. Lopez rushes off his line, with De Jong chipping a shot over him, but he was well offside and it won't count.
Óscar Mingueza
Yellow Card
Barcelona
64' Mingueza steps across Embarba to break up a counter-attack and is booked for his challenge.
63' Alba plays another good throughball into Depay on the left of the box, and he does well to hold off Gomez, who is tight to him. He tries to knock it back out to the left-back but gifts the ball to the visitors. 
61' CLOSE! The space opens up in behind as Ezzalzouli drives down the right and he chips a good cross into the box. Pedrosa intercepts it ahead of Depay and almost puts it into the back of his own net. He gets lucky though as it bounces just wide.
Adrià Pedrosa
Yellow Card
Espanyol
59' Pedrosa is also booked for his part in the coming together.
A. Ezzalzouli
Yellow Card
Barcelona
59' Ezzalzouli is fouled by Pedrosa, but the defender catches him a second time after the whistle has gone. The substitute has to be pulled away from his team-mates as he makes his feelings clear and he's booked for dissent.
58' Vidal is trying everything to keep Espanyol upfield until he's dispossessed by Gavi. He sets off on the counter, but the defender isn't about to give it up. He keeps the pressure on and does well to cut out the run. 
Manu Morlanes
David López
Espanyol
56' And David Lopez is also taken off, with Morlanes on in his place.
Nico Melamed
Javi Puado
Espanyol
56' Double change for Espanyol here, with Puado the first to make way as Melamed replaces him.
54' Still, Espanyol can't get out of their own half as Ezzalzouli pushes forward down the right. He tries to square it into Gonzalez, but Cabrera is there again to cut it out. 
52' Gavi is in quickly to nick the ball off Herrera and he skips past a challenge from Darder as he drives through the middle. He tries to slot it through to De Jong, but David Lopez makes an important interception.
50' Pedrosa steps in to cut out Gonzalez's run down the right, and slides in Puado, who sets off on the counter. He's pushed into Busquets by Mingueza as he tries to pick out De Tomas' run and Espanyol win a free-kick, but it comes to nothing. 
M. Depay
Penalty Goal
Barcelona
48' DEPAY SCORES! He steps up to take the penalty that he won and confidently slots it home. He goes for power, firing it to the right of the goal. The goalkeeper dived the wrong way, and it's 1-0 Barca!
46' PENALTY TO BARCA! Gavi slides the ball through to Depay, who dummies a shot before trying to take it around Cabrera. The defender slides in, taking Depay's legs out from under him and the referee points to the spot.
46' Barcelona get us back underway for the second half! 
A. Ezzalzouli
Ilias Akhomach
Barcelona
46' Barcelona are making a change at the break, with Ezzalzouli coming on to replace Akhomach.
Xavi will be fairly pleased with his side's first half, apart from their final product in front of goal. They kept Espanyol penned back, but just couldn't find a way past their goalkeeper. As for Espanyol, they've been fairly solid defensively, but Moreno will want them to take a few more risks if they want to cause an upset in Xavi's homecoming.
It's goalless at the break between Barcelona and Espanyol. The hosts dominated the first half, with Diego Lopez making some good saves to deny Depay, Gavi and Busquets. At the other end, Espanyol haven't created too much of note. Ter Stegen was called into action late in the half though when De Tomas' deflected cross looped towards goal and he had to tip it over the bar.
45' + 1' HALF-TIME: BARCELONA 0-0 ESPANYOL.
44' GREAT SAVE! It's nothing more than a hopeful long ball upfield from Gomez, but De Tomas holds off Mingueza to bring it down. He cuts inside before trying to pull it back for Herrera, but it deflects off Pique and Ter Stegen has to tip it over the bar. 
42' Espanyol are dropping deeper and deeper in their own half as Barcelona continue to keep possession and they're making it difficult for the hosts. Again, Barca switch it from right to left, but still with no luck.
40' Alba lays it off to Gavi, and he has loads of space on the edge of the box as he cuts inside from the left. He goes for goal himself but curls his shot high and wide of the far top corner. 
38' The hosts are still getting a lot of joy down their left side, with Gavi knocking it past Vidal this time. He's looking for Depay at the near post, but his cross is cut out by Gomez.
36' Barcelona are back to dominating possession and are patiently switching it from left to right. Akhomach tries to curl another early cross into Depay, but it's straight into Diego Lopez's gloves.
34' Espanyol have a rare opportunity to attack, with Vidal whipping a deep cross in from the right. Pedrosa brings it down before going to ground under pressure from Garcia. He's asking for a penalty, but he's waved back to his feet by the referee.
32' Akhomach plays a clever one-two with Gonzalez to open up a pocket of space down the right before he cuts inside. He's away from Pedrosa, but Cabrera stretches out a leg to stop the low shot from reaching the near corner. 
30' ANOTHER SAVE! Still, Barcelona keep the pressure on as De Jong pulls the ball back to Busquets on the edge of the box. His curling shot is pushed away by Diego Lopez before the offside flag goes up against Depay on the follow-up.
28' GOOD SAVE! Espanyol can't get out of their own box as Barca continue to push. Gonzalez sees an effort blocked by Cabrera before it comes back out to Depay on the right of the box. He hits a powerful shot at the near post, but it's smothered by Diego Lopez.
26' CHANCE! Depay is the furthest forward for Barcelona, so he goes it alone despite the crowd of defenders in the box. His first shot is blocked by Cabrera, but it loops up for him to have another attempt, which he hits straight at Diego Lopez.
24' Puado picks up the ball deep in his own half and sets off on another counter-attack for Espanyol. His cut-back leaves Gavi on the floor before he fires his cross straight into Ter Stegen's gloves.
22' Espanyol's corner is taken short to Darder and he cuts inside before floating a deep cross into the box. He's looking for David Lopez at the far post, but it's too high for him and it bounces harmlessly out of play.
20' Pique goes long again, playing another good pass over the top to pick out Depay's run this time. He does well to hold play up initially before giving the ball away when he was pulling it back for Gavi.
18' Barcelona are keeping the pressure on here, with Alba causing even more problems down the left. He pulls it back for De Jong, but it's just behind him, and Busquets can't latch onto it on the edge of the box.
16' Gonzalez went to ground in the box after feeling contact from David Lopez and the referee waves play on, much to the home fans' frustration. De Tomas is then brought down by Pique which earns Espanyol a free-kick and Barcelona aren't happy with that decision.
14' De Jong pokes it out to Alba on the left, and he fizzes another dangerous cross into the box. Depay can't reach it but Akhomach hits the shot behind him. It's always rising, but that doesn't matter as the offside flag goes up.
12' Darder breaks up a Barcelona attack and drives forward down the left on the counter. He swings an early cross out to De Tomas on the edge of the box, but his first-time volley flies high over the bar. 
10' Gonzalez pushes through the middle and does well to hold off Herrera and David Lopez who were trying to crowd him off the ball. Gomez's clearance bounces back off the midfielder, but it falls kindly for Diego Lopez.
8' Pique lifts a brilliant pass over the top to switch play out to Alba and he reaches it at the byline to keep it in play. He fizzes a powerful cross into the near post, but no one is there for Barcelona, and Diego Lopez collects it. 
6' Espanyol are dropping deep in their shape to close off the space ahead of Barcelona, who are keeping the ball well. It's patient play from the hosts as they try to find a way in behind.
4' SAVE! Alba lifts a long ball over the top which is nodded down by De Jong for Depay on the edge of the D. He lets it drop, hitting the shot on the volley, but Diego Lopez gets behind it.
2' Barcelona are keeping the ball well here in the opening minutes, with Alba making a good run down the left. He curls a cross in from the byline, but it's cleared by David Lopez in the middle. 
1' Darder gets the game underway for Espanyol! 
The teams are coming out onto the pitch now, with kick-off just moments away!
Barcelona haven't lost any of their last 22 matches against Espanyol in LaLiga (W17 D5), keeping 16 clean sheets in that run - it's their longest unbeaten streak against them in the competition.
Just the one change by Vicente Moreno from the win over Granada two weeks ago. There's a change of formation as well, with David Lopez coming into a back five. He replaces Bare, who starts on the bench.
Xavi makes two changes to the side that started against Celta in Barcelona's last match; Pique returns from injury and Akhomach comes in to make his debut. Lenglet drops to the bench, while Ansu Fati misses out due to an injury picked up in that game.
ESPANYOL SUBS: Manuel Morlanes, Loren Moron, Didac Vila, Keidi Bare, Oscar Melendo, Fran Merida, Nicolas Melamed, Fernando Calero, Wu Lei, Landry Dimata, Miguelon, Pere Joan.
ESPANYOL STARTING XI (5-4-1): Diego Lopez; Aleix Vidal, Sergi Gomez, David Lopez, Leandro Cabrera, Adria Pedrosa; Adrian Embarba, Yangel Herrera, Sergi Darder, Javier Puado; Raul de Tomas. 
BARCELONA SUBS: Sergi Roberto, Ronald Araujo, Riqui Puig, Yusuf Demir, Philippe Coutinho, Samuel Umtiti, Inaki Pena, Neto, Luuk de Jong, Abdessamad Ezzalzouli, Clement Lenglet, Alenjandro Balde. 
BARCELONA STARTING XI (4-3-3): Marc-Andre ter Stegen; Oscar Mingueza, Gerard Pique, Eric Garcia, Jordi Alba; Nicolas Gonzalez, Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong; Pablo Gaviria, Memphis Depay, Ilias Akhomach.
Barcelona legend Xavi makes his return to the club to take charge of his first match as their manager today. His side are unbeaten in their three games in all competitions since Ronald Koeman was sacked, winning one and drawing their two league games in that run. They did blow a 3-0 half-time lead to draw 3-3 with Celta Vigo in their last outing though. Espanyol have lost just one of their last six matches (W3 D2), though that was in their last away game when they were beaten 2-1 by Getafe.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of the LaLiga meeting between Barcelona and Espanyol at Camp Nou!