Published: Mon, February 05, 2018

How to Watch Espanyol vs. Barcelona

How to Watch Espanyol vs. Barcelona

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This afternoon Barcelona take on their close neighbours Espanyol in a La Liga fixture.

Pique scored a late equalizer in a 1-1 draw as the Spanish league leader narrowly avoided losing to its crosstown rival for the second time in less than three weeks.

Barcelona have the chance to break a club record on Sunday when they take on city rivals Espanyol for the third time in just over a fortnight.

It looked as though the home fans would have the last laugh at a sodden RCDE Stadium when Gerard Moreno got in ahead of Pique to head home Sergio Garcia's excellent cross midway through the second period. Tempers then threatened to boil over as Moreno went in on Pique, which sparked a mini-brawl between both sets of players. "There is a limit to everything".

Espanyol subsequently reported Pique to the Spanish Football Federation and he was booed throughout Sunday's match, making his equaliser for Barcelona an even sweeter moment for the Spain worldwide.

"Pique can not silence the fans, especially not ones like ours", Flores told reporters.

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde described the surface as "dangerous". "His gesture comes as part of the rivalry that is natural in a derby".

"The game was played by us in the first half but with the rain, when the ball started to stop, the field became risky".

With clear-cut chances still in short supply at either end, Valverde opted to make a double change on the hour, with Messi and Sergi Roberto the men to come on.

But Barca, whose cup quarter-final first-leg defeat here brought an end to their 29-match unbeaten run in all competitions this season, battled back and Pique ensured the spoils were shared. Barcelona eventually eliminated Espanyol by winning the second leg 2-0. I know a lot of good Espanyol fans.

Dembele is not in the squad for the derby match against Espanyol in La Liga on Sunday.

Pique, whistled throughout the contest, signalled for the home fans to be quiet and he was subsequently involved in an altercation with Moreno in the closing stages as the defender revelled in his role as the pantomime villain.

While Iniesta was happy to write off Pique's antagonistic celebration, Espanyol coach Quique Sanchez Flores suggested the feud between his club and the player will continue as a result.

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