Preview - Barcelona vs Espanyol 10 Sep

Started by Bensergi, Sep 09, 2017, 04:16 PM

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Barcelona vs Espanyol

Barcelona welcome crosstown rivals Espanyol to the Camp Nou, and they need victory to boost confidence ahead of a tough Champions League opener against Juventus on Tuesday night. New signing Ousmane Dembele, the most expensive buy in the club history and the direct replacement for Neymar, will be in the spotlight. The Frenchman will need to deal with the pressure of his massive price tag and he has to prove his worth almost instantly. Sergi Roberto miss out with a minor knee injury, while captain Andres Iniesta will likely start on the bench. Paulinho is likely to start if that's the case. Meanwhile, Espanyol coach Quique Sanchez Flores hopes his side can make life "uncomfortable" for their Catalan rivals with a solid display at the Nou Camp. "We want to do something important for our people and we hope to do our best because it will be demanding," he said. "Barcelona will put us in difficulties and whoever plays we will find rivals of a high level.


Match Stats:

  • Barcelona 5-0 Espanyol
  • Shots: 18-6
  • Possession: 68%-32%
  • Corner kicks: 8-7

Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick to help see off Espanyol in the Catalan derby and take Barcelona top of La Liga.

Messi collected Ivan Rakitic's pass before curling in the opening goal and added a second from close range following Jordi Alba's pull-back.

The Argentina forward completed his 38th Barcelona hat-trick when he finished off from another Alba cross.

Gerard Pique headed in from a corner before Luis Suarez converted from debutant Ousmane Dembele's low pass.

Dembele, the world's second most expensive footballer who joined from Borussia Dortmund for a fee that could rise to £135.5m, came on as a second-half substitute.

Barcelona are the only team with a 100% record and are yet to concede a goal, while La Liga champions Real Madrid are sixth after a 1-1 home draw against Levante earlier on Saturday.

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