Barcelona clash with Espanyol in the first strong test Baliga

Rachel Hardy
September 10, 2017

Our opposition this evening are our local rivals Espanyol with Barcelona looking to make it 3 wins out of 3.

Lionel Messi. While the Argentina number 10 was at least a yard offside when collecting a pass from Ivan Rakitic to open the scoring, he remained at the heart of everything Barcelona produced going forwards.

Gerald Pique and Luis Suarez got their names on the scoresheets in the 87th and 90th minutes respectively making it 5-0.

The Argentine wizard was on hand to round off his hat-trick just after the hour mark and was followed by Gerard Pique and Luis Suarez - who both added insult to an otherwise resilient performance from Espanyol late on.

Meanwhile, not too far away from there, Real Madrid drew, at home, for the second straight match.

Messi has scored two or more goals in 10 of his last 15 La-Liga games - he didn't score in the other five.

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Uruguay forward Suarez, who only returned from global duty on Friday, looked to be having one of those nights as he sent a cut-back from Messi over from six yards.

Samuel Umtiti did well to block Leo Baptistao's shot, but Messi extinguished any doubts by completing his hat-trick with a crisp low finish from the bright Gerard Deulofeu's smart pass.

Dembele was finally given the nod in the 68th minute as the France worldwide entered the field for his Barcelona debut, with Deulofeu leaving to a standing ovation following another impressive performance.

Paulinho nearly scored a fourth for Barcelona 10 minutes from time after meeting a super ball from Luis Suarez, but the Brazilian could only turn wide of the post, before Marc-Andre ter Stegen made a flying save to deny Didac Vila down the other end of the field.

Saturday is likely to see the debut of Barcelona's record signing Ousmane Dembele, while the much-questioned arrival Paulinho is also likely to make his first appearance on home turf in the game, reports Xinhua news agency.

Barca will now prepare for their opening fixture of their 2017/18 Champions League campaign on Tuesday night, when last year's finalists - and the side who overcame the Catalonians last time around - Juventus visit the holy footballing amphitheatre for what will certainly be another clash to behold.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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