- Lionel Messi, Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez all netted to hand Barca a 3-0 lead going into the break
- The Argentine completed his brace in the second stanza— both goals coming from free-kicks
- Espanyol’s consolation goal through Óscar Duarte was ruled offside by the VAR in the closing stages of the game
Lionel Messi netted two spectacular free kicks as Barcelona thrashed city rivals Espanyol 4-0 on on Saturday, December 8, in Catalan derby to move three points clear at the summit of La Liga.
The defending champions commenced hostilities at the at RCDE Stadium level on points with pair of Sevilla and Atlético Madrid saw Messi put up a world class performance all through the game.
The Argentine fired home a direct free-kick in the 17th minute and skillfully set up Ousmane Dembélé for Barcelona’s second of the night.
Moments before the end of the first stanza, Luis Suárez netted the third with a strike from a difficult angle but he was fortunate it took a deflection off Espanyol goalkeeper Diego López.
On the commencement of the second stanza Barcelona slow down the pace as Espanyol tried to stage a comeback.
But Messi put a stop of their game plan after he scored another spectacular free-kick in the 65th minute to hand Barcelona a 4-0 lead.
Espanyol’s Óscar Duarte had a goal ruled offside by the VAR towards the closing stages of the game.
The referee allowed an additional five minutes as added time and at the blast of the final whistle scores stood at Barcelona 4-0 Espanyol.
A performance that saw Espanyol suffer their fourth straight league defeat that see them on the ninth spot on the La Liga log.
Meanwhile, YEN.com.gh previously had reported Denis Suarez netted a brace as Barcelona cruised into the last 16 of the Copa del Rey on Wednesday, December 5, after a convincing 4-1 win over Cultural Leoneaa at the Camp Nou.
The encounter saw Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde carry out a squad rotation that handed youngsters like Chumi, Juan Miranda, Oriol Busquets and Carles Alena a spot in his starting XI.
Barcelona’s first goal of the night arrived after 18 minutes of action as Munir finished off a brilliant interchange into the top corner of Cultural Leonesa goal.