RCD Espanyol lost 4-2 at home to FC Barcelona on Sunday.
For a crucial Barcelona derby for both sides, Luis García named the same team that played last time out against Sevilla. The pericos needed a result in their fight for survival, not to mention getting one over their city rivals at the RCDE Stadium.
Though usually coming straight out of the blocks, Espanyol found themselves up against it early on. Robert Lewandowski’s shot was just wide of the target, but he would not make the same mistake next time round when he opened the scoring for Barça.
The visitors were in control and doubled their lead nine minutes later through Alejandro Balde. Espanyol could not find their stride while Barça were in theirs, as they scored their third through Lewandowski again.
Martin Braithwaite had their best chance right at the end of the half, but Marc André ter Stegen made a strong save to deny his former teammate. Behind at the break and searching for a way back into it, García brought on Javi Puado and Fernando Calero for the second half to try and salvage something.
Joselu had a huge chance in front of goal from Óscar Gil’s low cross but blazed it over the bar. That allowed Barça to go up the other end and score again, this time through their other full-back Jules Koundé to put the match beyond the hosts.
Espanyol continued to search for a way through and nearly did so when both Nico Melamed and Puado went one-on-one with ter Stegen, but the German denied them both. They finally got on the scoresheet when Puado chipped it over the goalkeeper, before Joselu scored with the last kick of the match to make it 4-2 in a tough defeat.
RCD Espanyol: Pacheco, Óscar Gil, Cabrera, C. Montes, S. Gómez (Calero 46’), B. Oliván (Koleosho 84’), Denis Suárez (Puado 46’), Darder, Nico M.R. (Edu Expósito 87’), Braithwaite (Pedrosa 55’), Joselu
FC Barcelona: ter Stegen, Kounde, R. Araujo (Jordi Alba 62’), Christensen (Marcos A. 74’), Balde, Pedri (Kessié 89’), Sergio, F. De Jong, Raphinha (Dembélé 62’), Lewandowski, Gavi (Ansu Fati 74’)
Referee: Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea
Goals: 0-1 Lewandowski 11’, 0-2 Balde 20’, 0-3 Lewandowski 40’; 0-4 Kounde 53’, 1-4 Puado 73’, 2-4 Joselu 90+2’
Bookings: Darder 39’; Kounde 2’, Gavi 39’, Jordi Alba 82’