3,8693,869viewing this pageGot a TV Licence?You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.Find out moreLive ReportingBy Emlyn BegleyAll times stated are UK12 minsPost updateEspanyol 0-0 BarcelonaLionel Messi takes the corner but Javi Lopez puts it behind for another corner.The resulting one is cleared.11…
Lionel Messi takes the corner but Javi Lopez puts it behind for another corner.
The resulting one is cleared.
Barca’s first corner. Ivan Rakitic pings a cross to Sergi Roberto and he blasts his attempted cross off an Espanyol defender for a corner.
Espanyol’s first chance but Bernardo Espinosa, a former Middlesbrough defender, heads wide from a free-kick.
The hosts are playing a back four today, a change from the previous manager’s wing-back system.
Frenkie de Jong tries a cross-field pass to Sergi Roberto but overhits it and it goes out for a goal-kick.
Barca have had 82.4% of the ball so far.
Espanyol have a free-kick, conceded by a Sergi Roberto handball. Barca try to get it clear but Espanyol get another cross in. The attack eventually ends with a foul on Jordi Alba.
Espanyol’s first attack as ex-West Ham man Jonathan Calleri crosses the ball in but Gerard Pique backheels it clear. Of course he does.
Probably not that surprising a stat but Neto is the first Brazilian goalkeeper to play in La Liga for Barcelona. He is Barca’s 40th Brazilian.
Statisticians Gracenote say in 1931-32 Brazilian goalkeeper Jaguare Becerra was part of their squad but foreigners weren’t allowed to play in official competitions so he never made a La Liga appearance.
An early quarter-chance for Barcelona but Ivan Rakitic totally miscues his shot from just outside the box.
Lots of whistles from the Espanyol fans for Barca players – especially Gerard Pique.
We are under way. Who can be this game’s Shandon Baptiste?
Now this has got nothing to do with Barcelona, Espanyol, La Liga or even European football.
But stop what you’re doing and look at this goal from Oxford’s Shandon Baptiste today.
(I might support Oxford…)
Any thoughts on this game, just tweet them in to #bbceurofooty.
This is Espanyol’s first game under new manager Abelardo – their third boss of the season – which gives the game a strange dynamic.
Abelardo played for Barcelona, while Barca boss Ernesto Valverde played for and managed Espanyol.
“We’re not only looking at what Espanyol have been doing recently, but also what Abelardo did when Alaves played us,” said Valverde.
“They’re in a difficult situation, but this is a derby and the points difference matters little. These games are played with the heart.
“Of course I would like Espanyol to stay in the first division, without a shadow of a doubt. I don’t know if they will. They’re going to need a lot of points, but they aren’t too far out of it yet.”
Espanyol have failed to win any of their past 20 (TWENTY) La Liga derbies against Barcelona. They have only scored in five of them.
Barca have more league victories against Espanyol (99) than against any other team. A win today will be a landmark century.
Barcelona are one point behind Real Madrid, who beat Getafe 3-0 earlier to go top.
Atletico Madrid have just beaten Levante 2-1 to move up to third.
Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen has a tendon injury so summer signing Neto makes his La Liga debut for the club.
Barca make three more changes from their last game before Christmas. Ivan Rakitic, Frenkie de Jong and Clement Lenglet are in for Arturo Vidal, Carles Alena and Samuel Umtiti.
Alena has joined Real Betis.
Three changes for Espanyol in Abelardo’s first selection, with captain Javi Lopez, defender Naldo and young winger Oscar Melendo starting.
Espanyol are having a hideous season domestically. They have not won in eight La Liga games and are bottom of the table on just 10 points.
Nobody has scored more than two goals in the league for them.
They sacked Pablo Machin and replaced him with Abelardo during the winter break.
But they topped their Europa League table and face Wolves in the knockout stages next month.
If ever a game looked like an away banker…
Espanyol are in terrible form and bottom of the table. Barcelona started the weekend top of the table.
Espanyol have not won a La Liga derby in over a decade.
And yet you never know in football. Welcome to live text commentary of the Catalan derby.