Espanyol grabs sensational Derby draw at Barcelona

Espanyol grabbed a historic late 1-1 draw away at opponents Barcelona and concluded 13 years of defeat at Camp Nou. The Catalan showdown at Camp Nou has been loaded with certain pre-game controversies after Barcelona’s decision to issue widespread banning orders regarding the traveling of Espanyol fans.

Espanyol lands an incredible Derby draw at Barcelona

The order seemed to have ignited Espanyol on the day, as they gradually scored the first point on the other side of the city since 2009.  La Blaugrana seamlessly found their feet in their first away since mid-November, as Marcos Alonso scored his first ever La Liga goal. 

Barcelona created better chances after the restart. However, Alonso’s late foul blessed Joselu with the best chance to score the equalizer from the penalty spot. 

The draw gradually moved to chaos in the final minutes of the game, with the referee Mateu Lahoz sending off both Jordi Alba and Vinicius Souza as the visitors came up for a fantastic draw.

A great draw

Barcelona was in control of the game from the fourth minute after defender Marcos Alonso’s brilliant header. However, the great penalty shot in the 73rd minute helped Espanyol turn the tables. 

The referee showed the second yellow card to defender Alba in the 78th minute and Espanyol’s Souza for fouling a home player in the 80th minute. 

Xavi said, 

“The draw was our fault. It was important to finish the year in the best manner possible. Espanyol was thrilled to reach the final minutes with a shot at getting an equalizer. These are games you have to finish off.” 

A moment of silence was observed before the game in memory of the Brazilian icon, Pele, who passed away on Thursday. 

After landing a draw against full-strength Barcelona, including Lewandowski, the Espanyol coach, Diego Martīnez, said, 

“As we say in the locker room, we are ready for anything and to compete under any circumstances. We must be proud of these players. They are generous in helping one another and stick to the plan even when things are not going our way. The team knew how to keep a cool head and take advantage of our moments.

Read More: Teams to win most matches across all formats in a year

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