Barcelona slots 5 goals past Espanyol in Catalan Derby

Erica Murray
September 11, 2017

Barcelona's impressive Derbi Barceloni record continued with a 5-0 win over fellow Catalonian side Espanyol, a fixture they have lost only nine times since 1928 inside the Camp Nou, thanks to a sublime solo show from star-man Lionel Messi.

Earlier, Real paid for the absence of the suspended Cristiano Ronaldo and a series of missed chances by Gareth Bale as they were held to a shock 1-1 home draw by newly-promoted Levante.

The Barcelona star opened the scoring despite being offside.

Espanyol's Pablo Piatti was unlucky not to pull a goal back when his sweetly-struck left-footed volley came back off the post just before half-time.

The players have returned from their worldwide sojourn and the player who grabs most of the eyeballs, Lionel Messi, for one, is not happy.

Suarez was little doubt that Messi was the hero of the hour and handed his team-mate familiar plaudits.

Dembele has the unenviable task of replacing the departed Neymar and Barca's €105 million (S$170.7 million) man had to wait until 22 minutes from time for his debut, as he replaced Gerard Deulofeu to a standing ovation. The Argentine found Suarez who laid a pass onto the path of Jordi Alba.

Dembele went on moments later to a round of applause from his new supporters.

Dembele's every touch was cheered and he responded by tearing away from an embattled backline to let Suarez end his personal misery, Pique having revelled in piling further derby misery upon Espanyol shortly beforehand.

- Barcelona have won 14 consecutive games at home in LaLiga, their best run since January 2014 (25).

The comprehensive win puts Barcelona, who host Juventus in the Champions League on Tuesday night, two points clear at the top of the table, having yet to concede a goal in their three La Liga victories. Both Madrid teams have five points.

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