Catalan Derby

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La Liga roundup: Last-place Espanyol equal Barcelona late in Catalan Derby

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Espanyol’s thrilling, late draw against cross-town rival Barcelona highlights La Liga’s Saturday action.

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Espanyol 2-2 Barcelona

With a late goal from Wu Lei, Espanyol pulled off a stunning 2-2 derby draw against league leaders and rival Barcelona, who failed to regain their two-point lead at the top of La Liga on Saturday at RCDE Stadium.

Luis Suarez leveled the score with a right-footed, leaping volley in the 50th minute and assisted Arturo Vidal only nine minutes later with a superlative outside-of-the-boot cross well within the box. The Uruguayan ace has either scored or assisted in Barcelona’s last 10 league goals.

Espanyol, playing under newly-appointed manager Abelardo for the first time ever, made it difficult to believe that it was a derby between the best team in the Spanish league against the worst. Los Periquitos came out confident and poised, drawing first blood 23 minutes after David Lopez’s zoomed passed Neto.

The hosts went into halftime up a goal, and even though Barcelona benefited from Arturo Vidal’s inclusion, Espanyol fought back.

Chinese star Lei sent the home fans over the moon after striking the back of the net against a Frenkie de Jong-less, 10-man Barcelona with a minute to play in regular time.

With only a goal differential advantage on Real Madrid, Barcelona host Atletico Madrid on Thursday in the Supercopa semifinal. Espanyol, on the other hand, look to carry their positive momentum to their second round Copa del Rey bout in a weeks time.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Getafe 0-3 Real Madrid

Valencia 1-0 Eibar 

Atletico Madrid 2-1 Levante

Messi wins derby for Barca, scores 40 goals for 10th-straight season

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How did Barcelona’s Catalan Derby with Espanyol go on Saturday? Let’s just say we’ve got two words which could sum up a lot of days for the Camp Nou set, and they are posted below.

Lionel Messi.

[ MORE: What did we learn in the PL? ]

The world’s greatest player scored a pair of goals in the second half as Barcelona won 2-0 to move to 21W-6D-2L this season.

The goals were his 30th and 31st in La Liga play this campaign, and 40th and 41st across all competitions to give him an otherworldly stat: Messi has scored 40 goals in each of the last 10 seasons.

He’s 31 years old. Do the math.

Messi’s first goal was especially wonderful, a spinning free kick from atop the 18 that was deflected into the net before a goalkeeper could get there.

But would he have? Probably not.

Many are calling it a “Panenka free kick.” We’re just opting for, again, wonderful: