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Messi scores twice as Barcelona go three points clear at top

Messi scores twice as Barcelona go three points clear at top

Lionel Messi opened the scoring against Espanyol with a close-range free-kickLionel Messi scored two sublime free-kicks as Barcelona beat Espanyol to move three points clear at the top of La Liga.Messi first found the top corner from the edge of the penalty area to put the visitors ahead.Ousmane Dembele doubled Barca's lead with a curling finish before Luis Suarez made it 3-0 from a tight angle.
Another sensational Messi set-piece - this time from further out - completed the victory.Sevilla had missed the chance to leapfrog Ernesto Valverde's side earlier on Saturday as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Valencia.That allowed Atletico Madrid, who recorded a comfortable 3-0 victory over fourth-placed Alaves, to briefly move level on points with the top two.Barca, who face Tottenham in the Champions League on Tuesday, also hit the woodwork twice in a one-sided first half, Suarez slicing against the post from Messi's pass before the latter crashed a header against the other post.Espanyol improved after the interval and had a goal disallowed for offside when Oscar Duarte stabbed home Sergio Garcia's cross from close range, but a comeback was never a serious possibility for the hosts.The win cements Barcelona's place at the La Liga summit, while Espanyol drop to ninth after slipping to a fourth consecutive league defeat.
Line-ups
Match Stats
Live Text
Line-ups
Espanyol
13Lopez
16Lopez Rodriguez
15Lopez
6Duarte
12VilaBooked at 79mins[/i]
17PerezSubstituted forBaptistaoat 59'minutes
10DarderSubstituted forGraneroat 74'minutes
21Roca
4Sanchez
14MelendoSubstituted forGarciaat 63'minutes
7Iglesias
Substitutes
1Jimenez
5Gomes Pereira
8Rosales
9Garcia
11Baptistao
19Piatti
23Granero
Barcelona
1ter Stegen
2Nelson Semedo
3Pique
15Lenglet
18Alba
4RakiticSubstituted forD Suarezat 82'minutes
5Busquets
22Vidal
10Messi
9SuarezSubstituted forEl Haddadiat 79'minutes
11DembeleSubstituted forCoutinhoat 68'minutes
Substitutes
6D Suarez
7Coutinho
13Cillessen
19El Haddadi
21Alena
24Vermaelen
27Miranda
Referee:Carlos del Cerro GrandeAttendance:24,037
Match Stats
Home TeamEspanyolAway TeamBarcelonaPossessionHome45%Away55%ShotsHome15Away17Shots on TargetHome3Away9CornersHome11Away4FoulsHome16Away10
Live Text
Posted at
Match ends, Espanyol 0, Barcelona 4.
Full Time
Posted at 90'+7' Second Half ends, Espanyol 0, Barcelona 4.Posted at 90'+6' Foul by Arturo Vidal (Barcelona).Posted at 90'+6' Sergio Garcia (Espanyol) wins a free kick in the attacking half.Posted at 90'+5' Attempt blocked. Munir El Haddadi (Barcelona) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Denis Suarez.Posted at 90'+5' Gerard Pique (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.Posted at 90'+5' Foul by Victor Sanchez (Espanyol).Posted at 90'+3' Foul by Jordi Alba (Barcelona).Posted at 90'+3' Esteban Granero (Espanyol) wins a free kick in the attacking half.Posted at 90'+2' Delay over. They are ready to continue.Posted at 90'+2' Delay in match Arturo Vidal (Barcelona) because of an injury.Posted at 90'+1' Attempt missed. Didac Vila (Espanyol) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Borja Iglesias.Posted at 90'+1' Attempt missed. Borja Iglesias (Espanyol) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Victor Sanchez.Posted at 88' Foul by Arturo Vidal (Barcelona).Posted at 88' Sergio Garcia (Espanyol) wins a free kick in the attacking half.Posted at 88' Sergio Busquets (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.Posted at 88' Foul by Victor Sanchez (Espanyol).Posted at 87' Corner, Espanyol. Conceded by Jordi Alba.Posted at 86' Denis Suarez (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.Posted at 86' Foul by Borja Iglesias (Espanyol).Posted at 85' Corner, Espanyol. Conceded by Clement Lenglet.Posted at 85' Attempt blocked. Leo Baptistao (Espanyol) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Esteban Granero.Posted at 84' Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Didac Vila.
Substitution
Posted at 82' Substitution, Barcelona. Denis Suarez replaces Ivan Rakitic.Posted at 81' Attempt missed. Victor Sanchez (Espanyol) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Sergio Garcia following a corner.Posted at 81' Corner, Espanyol. Conceded by Clement Lenglet.Posted at 80' Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Javi Lopez.Posted at 80' Attempt blocked. Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is blocked.
Substitution
Posted at 79' Substitution, Barcelona. Munir El Haddadi replaces Luis Suarez.
Booking
Posted at 79' Didac Vila (Espanyol) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.Posted at 79' Lionel Messi (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.Posted at 79' Foul by Didac Vila (Espanyol).Posted at 78' Clement Lenglet (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.Posted at 78' Foul by Leo Baptistao (Espanyol).Posted at 76' Delay over. They are ready to continue.Posted at 75' VAR: Goal. Referee decision on field cancelled.
Substitution
Posted at 74' Substitution, Espanyol. Esteban Granero replaces Sergi Darder.Posted at 74' Delay in match (Barcelona). Video Review.Posted at 73' Offside, Espanyol. Sergio Garcia tries a through ball, but Oscar Duarte is caught offside.Posted at 72' Foul by Gerard Pique (Barcelona).
goal
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