LaLiga match report Espanyol v FC Barcelona 08 December 2018


Messi opened the scoring with a brilliant free-kick at RCDE Stadium on Saturday, with Ernesto Valverde's men looking to open up a three-point lead atop the table.

The Argentina global responded in style on Saturday, scoring two wonderful free-kicks and setting up another goal in Barca's 4-0 win over Espanyol in the derby.

Club legend Carles Puyol has come out after the match to fire out a massive dig at France Football for snubbing Messi for the 2018 Ballon d'Or.

"Everyone knows that Messi is the best player in the world by far".

Lionel Messi celebrates against Espanyol (Joan Monfort/AP).

However, Los Che levelled two minutes into stoppage time when substitute Mouctar Diakhaby knocked the ball home from close range after a free-kick caused a scramble in the six-yard box.

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The Argentinean was in scintillating form, producing runs and setting up his team-mates in any number of areas around the Espanyol area.

The Argentina star finished fifth in this week's Ballon d'Or voting behind Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, Cristiano Ronaldo and victor Luka Modric.

Pele said, "How can you make a comparison between a guy who heads the ball well, shoots with the left, shoots with the right and another who only shoots with one leg, only has one skill and doesn't head the ball well?"

Lionel Messi, Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez were all on the scoresheet as Barcelona recorded a 4-0 win over Espanyol in the Catalan derby on Saturday night.

Most sides would have crumbled in the face of Barca's stunning show, but Espanyol should have offered more fight in a derby meeting.

- Barcelona have scored the most goals from set-pieces in La Liga this season (11). Messi also has won the Ballon d'Or five times, in addition to nine La Liga titles and four Champions League trophies.