City derby takes Barça one step closer to league title

May 9, 2016

Barcelona’s final home match of the season was the city derby against local rivals RCD Espanyol. And with three teams in contention for the league title still it was essential for Barça to win. All matches this weekend kicked off at 5pm and so as the match unfolded fans occasionally glanced at the results of both Atletico and Real Madrid.

Leo Messi opened the scoring in the seventh minute from a free kick. Curling the ball over the Espanyol wall, the ball landed in the top of the net and Barça were ahead. Two minutes later and it looked for a moment as if Rakitic had extended the lead only to see it disallowed for offside. The match then settled down into a tough battle as Espanyol’s players made up for their lack of pace with heavy tackles.

By the break Messi had picked up a yellow card, but Espanyol already had four – by the end of the match Barcelona had two yellow cards to Espanyol’s seven. It was a disappointing result that was clearly not good enough, but the second half saw Barcelona playing with renewed vigour. Five minutes into the second half a Messi assist helped Suarez score his first of the afternoon. Four minutes later Neymar headed the ball home off a Neymar assist. Suddenly things were all going Barça’s way.

A 3-0 lead was probably enough, but all the same the squad didn’t let up. And soon after Rafinha came on in place of Rakitic the Brazilian scored an opportunistic goal from inside the area after Espanyol’s keeper, Pau López, failed to grab the ball. The final goal of the match came with nine minutes remaining when Neymar scored off a Suarez assist.

All in all a good result ahead of next weekend’s final match of the season when a win secures the league title for the 2015/16 season.

1-0 Messi (min 7)
2-0 Suárez (min 50)
3-0 Suárez (min 59)
4-0 Rafinha (min 72)
5-0 Neymar (min 81)

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