Home / News / Espanyol 1-1 Barcelona: Late Gerard Pique Header Writes Ernesto Valverde into Barca History Books

Espanyol 1-1 Barcelona: Late Gerard Pique Header Writes Ernesto Valverde into Barca History Books

Barcelona had been capable of keep their unbeaten La Liga run and set a brand new membership file within the course of following their 1-1 Catalan Derby draw with Espanyol on Sunday afternoon. 

Following a reasonably mellow first-half, the competition sparked into life within the second, with Gerard Moreno opening the scoring for the hosts through a bullet header shortly after the hour mark, earlier than Gerard Pique responded in type with lower than 10 minutes to safe a share of the spoils. 

The outcome, which allowed the Blaugrana to file their 22nd league conflict with out tasting defeat, surpassed the earlier membership milestone held by Pep Guardiola’s squad of 21 Premier Division video games undefeated, permitting Ernesto Valverde to write down himself into the Camp Nou historical past books after lower than a full season in cost.

Surprisingly, given the rivalry, it was a barely laborious opening from either side throughout the early exchanges contained in the supporter spattered Estadi Cornellà-El Prat, with the biblical rainfall onto the heavy floor taking its toll on the fluency of the competition. 

Nonetheless, regardless of struggling to orchestrate their means by way of the closely rotated Espanyol backline throughout the opening quarter, record-signing Philippe Coutinho was capable of provide these in attendance a glimpse of his capabilities by rattling the underside of the crossbar from vary after discovering a pocket of area on the sting of the realm and bending his try in the direction of Diego Lopez’s purpose. 

Following the Brazilian’s pot-shot, play returned again to its former absent-tempoed self, however, regardless of their dormant opening 25 minutes, it was a Periquitos assault which compelled the primary significant save of the competition. 

Winger Leo Baptistao was afforded area after skipping previous the backtracking Andres Iniesta halfway contained in the Barcelona half earlier than advancing momentarily and unleashing a stinging try from vary, which was ultimately devoured up by Marc-Andre ter Stegen on the second try following a powerful palm to the ground. 

After the German’s pretty snug cease, except for a Luis Suarez free-kick which skimmed the roof of the online on its means behind, there was little of word within the closing 20 minutes of the first-half, with either side heading into their respective dressing rooms with the scores equal. 

Nonetheless, regardless of the reasonably damp, in each sense of the phrase, opening 45, the second began in flamboyant style, as with simply 45 seconds on the clock Espanyol had the ball at the back of the online. 

Baptistao discovered himself bearing down on purpose after being slipped in behind the Blaugrana defence by Esteban Granero, with the 25-year-old then rounding Ter Stegen and establishing his provider who slammed dwelling from inside the realm, solely to be greeted by the linesman’s flag after the official noticed the ball had left the sphere of play because the Brazilian attacker evaded his German counterpart. 

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However following one other lull within the contest attributable to the treacherous situations, the hosts took benefit of their quick spell of dominance and broke the impasse courtesy of Gerard, who had celebrated recording his 100th look for the Blanquiazules pre kick-off. 

Sergio Garcia picked up possession on the right-hand aspect following a sloppy clearance from Ter Stegen earlier than delivering an inch-perfect supply into the realm, which evaded the acrobatics of Gerard Pique, earlier than discovering the top of the 25-year-old striker, whose try had simply sufficient tempo to beat the German custodian’s efforts and put his aspect forward. 

Nonetheless, after taking the lead, Espanyol appeared to search out consolation in dropping deeper and deeper, and with lower than 10 minutes to go their over-defensive techniques, coupled with the introduction of substitute Lionel Messi, proved pivotal. 

The afternoon’s pantomime villain, Pique, who had been on the receiving finish of a continuing barrage of abuse from the house supporters following the defender’s feedback earlier within the week, was capable of latch his head onto a fizzing free-kick from the Argentine super-sub and nod dwelling to additional lower his reputation contained in the Estadi Cornellà-El Prat and degree the scores. 

After the Spain worldwide had pulled his aspect again degree, either side had possibilities within the closing moments to seal the win, nonetheless, neither had been capable of capitalise, leaving Blaugrana nonetheless a way out in entrance within the title chase as they proceed their hunt for the ‘invincible’ season. 

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