LaLiga 2018-19, Espanyol 0-4 FC Barcelona: 5 Hits and Flops
FC Barcelona went to the RCDE Stadium in the Cornella in an attempt to pull clear at the top of the table from the chasing pack.
The underwhelming Espanyol side who had already lost their last three fixtures coming into the game were motivated only because this was a derby.
But as things proceeded, the game became much less of a derby and more of a one-sided thrashing.
Unlike last year's fixture where the pitch was fully water-logged which affected the passing game of Barcelona, this year Barcelona found their groove at the Cornella.
With Luis Suarez returning from the injury, Barcelona switched Messi back to right-wing and Dembele to the left-wing. Phillipe Coutinho started from the bench.
FC Barcelona started the game on the front foot and got Espanyol by the scruff of their necks. They never seemed to let the pressure down and pressed hard when out of possession.
Lionel Messi caused a majority of the problems for Espanyol, running at the defenses like mad and even helping defensively.
Barcelona went ahead through Lionel Messi's freekick at the 19th minute and doubled their advantage when Dembele scored just seven minutes later. Luis Suarez snuck in with a third goal before half-time.
Barcelona had several shots that deflected off the post. Lionel Messi went on to score another goal from a free-kick thus putting the scoreline at 4-0.
Barcelona continues at the top of the table, three points clear of second-placed Sevilla. Espanyol, on the other hand, is at ninth place on the table due to inferior goal difference compared to Getafe, Levante, and Girona.
Here are five hits and flops from the game.
#5 Flop: Didac Vila (Espanyol)
The Espanyol full-back was not at his best against Barcelona. The left-back spot was very vulnerable all along the game.
Nelson Semedo, Lionel Messi, Ivan Rakitic, all had their fun in the right flank. Semedo was able to get an astounding 86 touches while he spent most of the time near Vila. He was able to make three key passes right under the nose of the left back.
Vila had a lot of possession for his team but his distribution lacked authority. He was only able to complete 81% of his passes.
He could also manage only one tackle in the wing. He failed to keep possession with him, dispossessed four times in the game. He also earned a yellow card in the game.
Not the person you would put a lot of expectations on but still too bad a performance for the Cornella's liking.