Espanyol 2-2 Barcelona: 5 Talking Points | LaLiga 2019/2020
It was derby day in Catalunya, with Espanyol hosting Barcelona at the RCDE Stadium in a LaLiga clash.
Both sides came into the fixture in different halves of the table, with the Blaugrana in second place while their city rivals occupying the bottom spot.
Given the quality of players on display for Barcelona, it was expected that they would stroll their way to victory but the reality proved to be different, with the hosts going into a first half lead after David Lopez nodded a Marc Roca freekick past Neto in the 23rd minute.
The visitors got their leveller soon after the restart when Luis Suarez showed great expertise to convert a pin-point delivery from Jordi Alba.
Nine minutes later, the Uruguayan turned provider, excellently finding Arturo Vidal with the outside of his boot for the former Juventus man to score his 6th LaLiga goal of the season.
Expectedly, it became one-way traffic, with Ernesto Valverde's men dominating possession but they failed to take advantage of the few clear-cut chances they created.
They were made to pay for their profligacy three minutes from time when Wu Lei converted with a well drilled shot into the bottom-right corner.
The stalemate means that Barcelona failed to kick start the year with a victory and here, we shall be highlighting five talking points from the fixture.
#5 Barcelona fail to reclaim advantage in LaLiga race
Barcelona have largely strolled their way to each of the last two league titles, posting an 11-point gap last time out and a 14-point gap at the summit two seasons ago.
However, a combination of factors including their underperformance and the improvement of other teams means that they would have to be on their toes if they are to make it a three-peat in the Spanish top-flight this term.
They came into the latest round of fixtures two points ahead of Clasico rivals Real Madrid whose 3-0 victory earlier in the day saw them move ahead.
A win for the Catalans would have seen them restore their two point advantage at the summit but their failure to do so saw them lose their grip at the top.