Espanyol 2-2 Barcelona: Luuk De Jong’s last-gasp equaliser earns Xavi’s Barca a point in the Catalan derby as both Gerard Pique and Nico Melamed saw red late on
- Barcelona drew 2-2 with city-rivals Espanyol in LaLiga on Sunday night
- Pedri gave Barca the lead inside two minutes, before Sergi Darder equalised
- Raul de Tomas put the hosts in front on 64 minutes in-front of a packed house
- But Luuk De Jong headed home a 90+6 winner to earn Xavi’s men a point
Gerard Pique was sent off as Barcelona and Espanyol drew 2-2 in a helter-skelter Catalan derby on Sunday night.
The two points dropped seriously dent Barca’s chances of forcing themselves into the title race but it would have been much worse if not for Luuk de Jong’s headed equaliser with the last attack of the game.
Xavi had talked up Barca as outsiders for the title before the match when he said: ‘We cannot rule ourselves out of winning LaLiga’. And when Pedri scored with their first chance it looked as if the momentum was with them.
Barcelona drew 2-2 with city-rivals Espanyol on Sunday night in LaLiga to go fourth in the table
Forward Luuk de Jong’s last-gasp header on 90+6 minutes earned Barca a share of the spoils
Pique and Nico Melamed were both sent off in injury time as Barcelona chased the game with five forwards on the pitch.
Sergi Darder had levelled for Espanyol with a wonder goal and then played the pass of the night to set-up Raul de Tomas for Espanyol’s second.
It looked like being the first time since 2007 that Espanyol had beaten Barcelona at home in the league. But Luuk de Jong headed powerfully past Diego Lopez from Adama Traore’s cross from the right to make it 2-2.
Sergi Darder equalised for the Espanyol with a powerful shot past Marc-Andre ter Stegen
Raul de Tomas put Espanyol in front on 64 minutes as the hosts looked to be in the driving seat
Pedri had put Barcelona in front after three minutes ghosting in at the back post to turn in Jordi Alba’s cross. But Lopez saved point blank from Adama to keep the margin narrow and five minutes from the break Darder got them back in it.
Raul de Tomas rolled the ball back to him and from the edge of the area he curled a shot past Marc-Andre ter Stegen into the far corner. The derby means more to the Espanyol-raised midfielder than to most and he had got his team right back in the game.
Barcelona emerged for the second minus Ronald Araujo who watched from the bench with ice strapped to his left calf. He had been caught late by Keidi Bare, who was booked for the foul, in the first half. But that was a hit to the right ankle, this looked a different injury and it was Eric Garcia was on in his place.
Ten minutes into the second half Barcelona thought they were back in front. Adama tricked his way to the byline and drilled the ball back into the area. It pin-balled between players before dropping to Gavi who scored. Barcelona celebrated but the ball had hit Frenkie De Jong before reaching the scorer and he had been in an offside position.
On the hour Xavi sent on Pierre-Emerick Aubamegang, with Ferran Torres moving out to the left. Alongside Adama, Barcelona now had a front three that started the season in the Premier League.
Pedri put Barcelona in front on the night inside two minutes firing past goalkeeper Diego Lopez
The 19-year-old was a constant threat throughout, in a derby that was full of passion and drama
The change did not have the desired effect because Espanyol scored from their next attack. Darder played the ball forward and Raul de Tomas turned away from Eric Garcia taking it down on his chest and sweeping it beyond Ter Stegen at his near post.
With 20 minutes left there were more changes from Xavi. Ousmane Dembele was on for his first minutes for a month. And Nico trotted on with a piece of paper in his hand that he gave to Pique and Sergio Busquets. The instruction was for three at the back and everyone else on the attack.
Barcelona defender Gerard Pique and Espanyol’s Nico Melamed were sent off in injury time
Eric Garcia was one of those three and he was having a torrid time since coming on. He was booked for a late challenge on Melamed and was then nutmegged by Adria Pedrosa.
Both sides went down to ten men after Pique tangled twice off the ball with Melamed earning second yellows. By now Xavi had thrown on the big man and Luuk de Jong it was who got the late-late goal to salvage a point for a team that are as porous at one end as they are prolific at the other.