RCD Espanyol drew 1-1 with FC Barcelona in the Barcelona derby on New Year’s Eve.
The final match of 2022 was the small matter of the derby, as Diego Martínez’s men travelled across town to the Camp Nou in search of derby delight.
Álvaro Fernández was called into action early on, saving well at the near post from Pedri. But Barça would take the lead from the resulting corner when Marcos Alonso headed in from inside the six-yard box.
Despite the deficit Espanyol remained positive, creating chances and having good passages of play when they were able to find their stride. Alonso could have doubled his tally but missed the target, before Nico Melamed’s shot was deflected agonisingly wide of the goal.
An open first half ended with Barça ahead, but the blanquiazules were still in it ahead of an important 45 minutes. The match settled down in the second half, both teams probing but unable to deliver a sucker punch to one another.
That was until the derby completely burst into life. Espanyol were awarded a penalty as Joselu was fouled by Alonso, and the number nine sent Marc-André ter Stegen the wrong way to bury it in for the equaliser.
Now level and chasing the win, chaos ensued on the pitch with seven yellow cards issued in six minutes. That included two and a subsequent red card for Jordi Alba, as well as Vini Souza who was given his marching orders.
Leandro Cabrera was also shown a red card, but after consulting VAR, referee Antonio Maheu Lahoz rescinded it and left both teams down to 10 men going into the final stages.
A tense nine minutes of stoppage time saw Espanyol fight with the grit and determination that embody the Club, defending like lions and pushing on for the winner. A well-earnt point in the Barcelona derby for Espanyol as 2022 came to a close.
FC Barcelona: Ter Stegen, S. Roberto (Koundé 82’), Christensen, Marcos A., Jordi Alba, Gavi (Busquets 52’), F. De Jong (Balde 82’), Pedri, Raphinha (Dembélé 62’), Lewandowski, Ansu Fati (Ferran 60’).
RCD Espanyol: Á. Fernández, Óscar Gil (Ruben Sánchez 90’), Cabrera, S. Gómez, B. Oliván (Aleix V.C 90’), Vini Souza, Calero (Edu Expósito 57’), S. Darder, Nico M.R (Puado 57’), Joselu, Braithwaite (Simo 85’).
Referee: Antonio Maheu Lahoz
Goals: 1-0 Marcos A. 7’; 1-1 Joselu (pen) 73’
Bookings: Ansu Fati 25’, Gavi 30’, Jordi Alba 75’, Ferran 75’, Pedri 76’; B. Oliván 30’, Cabrera 31’, Calero 55’, Vini Souza 74’ Edu Expósito 74’, Puado 90+6’
Red cards: Jordi Alba 78’; Vini Souza 80’