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Espanyol 1-1 Barcelona: 5 Talking Points

Ernesto Valverde took a gamble by resting Lionel Messi, and was bailed out by Gerard Pique

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Top 5 / Top 10 04 Feb 2018, 22:51 IST
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Barcelona Espanyol Talking Points
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The Catalan derby ended with both Barcelona and Espanyol sharing the spoils, as the La Liga leaders managed to salvage a 1-1 draw in the torrential rain.

Gerard Moreno opened the scoring for Espanyol in the 66th minute, but just as it seemed they would celebrate a famous victory, up popped Gerard Pique in the 82nd minute to deny the home side the victory with a header from a corner.

Here are the major talking points from the game:


#1 Barcelona were unable to deal with the conditions

With perspective, Barcelona could look upon this game positively, but the Blaugrana struggled to deal with the weather and pitch conditions throughout. It was telling that their only goal came from a set-piece, as the visitor's metronomic passing was halted in the second half as the pitch did its best impression of a swimming pool.

Barca are unlikely to face similar conditions yet again, but they ought to really consider playing it long once in a while. Even Leo Messi was unable to triumph over the water puddles despite his best efforts, with plenty of passes along the ground going astray.

Ernesto Valverde will have learnt plenty of his side's ability to face adversity - this was a derby against a bruising side in the pouring rain, and Barca were able to salvage something from it. There is character in this team - and character wins you trophies.


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