Saturday, 25 May, 2019

Messi Makes LaLiga History With Brace Against Espanyol

Outstanding Leo Messi leads Barca to easy derby win Barcelona make just one change for derby with Espanyol
Andrew Wong | 09 December, 2018, 01:51

Recent Barcelona derbies in Cornella have been feisty affairs, but Barca, with Messi at his very best, never gave them a chance.

Barca led in the 17th minute thanks to the first moment of Messi magic in an astounding display.

Goalkeeper Diego Lopez saved from Suarez, given the all-clear to play following a knee problem, as Barcelona looked to swiftly double their lead.

It was 2-0 on 26 minutes when Messi picked out Dembele in the Espanyol penalty area and the France global cut back inside to curl the ball past Lopez.

Ajax midfielder De Jong admits being big fan of Chelsea ace Jorginho
As well as spending some of his young career in defence, De Jong is a deep-lying midfield playmaker who also likes to dribble. There are so many to learn from.

Dembele turned provider this time, slipping his fellow forward in in the left-hand channel, with Suarez doing brilliantly to hold off the challenge of a defender and somehow squeeze a finish through the legs of Lopez and into the far corner from the narrowest of angles.

Sevilla were on track to go top earlier in the day, but Valencia scored a 92nd-minute equaliser, although Atletico Madrid exerted some pressure by thumping Deportivo Alaves 3-0.

Duarte thought he had netted a consolation for his side as he prodded home Sergio Garcia's free-kick at the far post, only for the goal to be disallowed after a lengthy VAR review.

Messi was in fine form against derby rivals Espanyol.

Manchester United, Arsenal scrap to 2-2 draw
Craig Burley and Steve Nicol break down Manchester United's 2-2 draw with Arsenal in a game that the Gunners should have won. Liverpool FC will now turn their attentions towards their trip to Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday lunchtime.

The Argentina star finished fifth in this week's Ballon d'Or voting behind Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, Cristiano Ronaldo and victor Luka Modric.

Puyol has taken to Twitter after Barça's 4-0 thrashing of Espanyol to tweet about the Ballon d'Or, which Messi finished in fifth place for in this year's award.

Key Opta stats:- Ousmane Dembele has been directly involved in eight goals in his last eight games for Barcelona in all competitions (three goals and five assists).

- Espanyol have lost four consecutive La Liga games for the first time since May 2012.

Brighton boss Chris Hughton hopeful Glenn Murray can feature at Burnley
Palace are proving a drag on goals tallies this season and they rank second for matches with under 2.5 goals (10 out of 15). Palace head to the south coast to take on Brighton as they look to continue where they left off at the weekend.

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