Espanyol 0-4 Barcelona: 3 reasons why Barca won the Catalan derby | LaLiga 2018-19
Possessing high energy pressing and fierce rivalry as its hallmarks, the Catalan derby has never failed to enthrall football fans over the years.
FC Barcelona emerged as the comfortable winners against their arch-rivals Espanyol on Saturday evening. However, the home side must be given credit for their efforts, and their fan support, even after the visitors killed the game well before half time.
As soon as the game started, La Blaugrana looked in perfect shape and control, while their rivals looked determined to press and break the possession. However, Lionel Messi scored a direct free kick past Diego Lopez to the near post's top corner.
Dembele then doubled the lead with a right footed curler after his typical fake shot, even before the home side could respond to the goal. Just before half time, Luis Suarez made it three from a tight finish.
The Barcelona captain netted another free-kick to wind it up for the team, and just when Espanyol seemed to have gained a consolation goal, VAR denied it to make it worse.
Lets now look at three reasons why barca won it so easily.
Coming off a fine mid-week win over Cultural Leonesa in Copa del Rey, Barca started their strongest line-up with only Coutinho benched. In contrast, their opponents came in very poor form after losing three consecutive league matches, finding themselves in a deep slump.
Looking at the players individually, Barca's fine squad rotation made sure that every player could find themselves in very fine rhythm.
However, Espanyol had none of its players at their best before the match, which caused them to find no individual spark during the game. In spite of starting with some determination in pressing during the first half, the form seemed to have taken a toll on the losing side.