Espanyol 1-1 Barcelona: Late Gerard Pique Header Writes Ernesto Valverde into Barca History Books
Barcelona were able to maintain their unbeaten La Liga run and set a new club record in the process following their 1-1 Catalan Derby draw with Espanyol on Sunday afternoon.
Following a fairly mellow first-half, the contest sparked into life in the second, with
After being booed for the entire match, Gerard Pique grabbed a crucial late equaliser in Barcelona’s derby with Espanyol to see the spoils shared.
No surprise what celebration he opted for… pic.twitter.com/SzKI7GkKU7
— 101 Great Goals (@101greatgoals) February 4, 2018
Surprisingly, given the rivalry, it was a slightly
However, despite struggling to orchestrate their way through the heavily rotated Espanyol backline during the opening quarter, record-signing
Following the Brazilian’s pot-shot, play returned back to its former absent-tempoed self, but, in spite of their dormant opening 25 minutes, it was a
Espanyol 0-0 Barcelona HT – Messi’s absence is clear to see, however as is Jordi Alba’s. Lucas Digne is certainly not an untalented player, but his attacking threat and lack of pace compared to Alba is proving detrimental both going forward and in defence. Sub soon #EspanyolBarca
— Joe Owens (@joejournosun) February 4, 2018
But following another lull in the contest caused by the treacherous conditions, the hosts took advantage of their short spell of dominance and broke the deadlock courtesy of Gerard, who had celebrated recording his 100th appearance for the
Gerard Moreno has now scored his first goal against Barcelona in all competitions in his 10th appearance against the club.
What a time to step up. pic.twitter.com/XeHyFaldB5
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 4, 2018
However, after taking the lead, Espanyol seemed to find comfort in dropping deeper and deeper, and with less than 10 minutes to go their over-defensive tactics, coupled with the introduction of substitute Lionel Messi, proved pivotal.
The afternoon’s pantomime villain, Pique, who had been on the receiving end of a constant barrage of abuse from the home supporters following the defender’s comments earlier in the week, was able to latch his head onto a fizzing free-kick from the Argentine super-sub and nod home to further decrease his popularity inside the