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FC Barcelona 2-0 Espanyol: Hits and Flops | LaLiga 2018-19

31 Mar 2019, 11:39 IST

Lionel Messi celebrating the second goal with Malcom
Lionel Messi celebrating the second goal with Malcom

The return from the international break saw Barcelona paired up against local rivals Espanyol. The table toppers sat comfortably above Atletico Madrid by 10 points in the La Liga before the game but still needed to stay there to ease into the Champions League game next week. Espanyol had a task at their hands, winless at the Camp Nou in over a decade.

Ernesto Valverde started with a 4-3-3 including Messi and Suarez in his lineup despite both stars returning from injury. Coutinho slotted in at the left wing while Nelson Semedo started from the right-back spot instead of Sergi Roberto.

The first half was a back and forth between both sides and surprisingly Barcelona did not register even one shot on target. The second half opened up more opportunities for Barcelona. Lionel Messi opened the goalscoring through a free kick in the 71st minute. Barcelona's lead was doubled by the Argentine in the 89th minute.

Barcelona will next face Villarreal in their mid-week game as they now go 13 points ahead of their closest opponent. Here are five hits and flops from the game.

Also see : Womens World Cup Bracket, Copa America Standings, Gold Cup Standings

#5 Flop: Borja Iglesias

Smothered by Pique, eaten alive by Lenglet: No freedom for Borja Iglesias at Camp Nou
Smothered by Pique, eaten alive by Lenglet: No freedom for Borja Iglesias at Camp Nou

Iglesias is the biggest goal threat for the opposition in the Espanyol team. He played as a striker in a 5-3-2 but on most occasions, he was the only man up front for Espanyol. Against Barcelona though, Iglesias posed no threat to the goal, whatsoever. Even though Espanyol had the chance to hit Barcelona on multiple occasions through Iglesias, he messed a lot of them.

The passes and lobs towards him were not the best, granted, but neither was his will to win the ball or his positioning to receive the pass. Pique had him smothered all over on almost all occasions and won most aerials ahead of him. He had a chance to put Espanyol ahead but Clement Lenglet denied him. Being a striker and playing against Barcelona, these chances should be converted. Iglesias was dispossessed twice in the game too.

He was substituted in the 64th minute by Wu Lei.

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