Suarez strikes twice to keep title race alive

Two goals from Luis Suarez and one from Ivan Rakitic saw Barcelona cruise past Espanyol to keep the La Liga title race alive.

  • Espanyol 0 Barcelona 3
  • Suarez strikes just after the break
  • Rakitic strokes home the second
  • Suarez poaches number three

Match Summary

Espanyol made it to halftime without allowing Barca more than a few sniffs at goal while also working a chance or two for themselves, but the stalemate was broken five minutes after the restart when Luis Suarez picked off a loose pass to open the scoring.

????? [FULL TIME- FINAL] Espanyol v FC Barcelona (0-3) ??? #ForçaBarça #FCBarcelona #igersFCB #EspanyolFCB

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Full Report

There were few chances in the opening half and hour, but the first one fell to Espanyol just three minutes in when Jurado found space between the Barca defence but dragged his shot wide.

Neymar was a livewire for the Catalans down the left flank throughout, and almost turned provider five minutes before the break when his cross was met by Sergi Roberto at the far post, but the right-back’s header was the wrong side of the post.

There best chance at breaking the deadlock until then was courtesy of Lionel Messi helping the ball over the top to put Luis Suarez in on goal, but he fluffed the chance and was waved offside anyway.

Having kept Barca at bay for the first half, Espanyol lasted just five minutes of the second half until they made a mistake. A loose back pass from Jurado was pounced on by Suarez, who comfortably beat the chasing defender to the ball, took a touch, and poked it past Diego Lopez.

A second goal almost followed soon after as Neymar was up to his old tricks, cutting in from the left and trying to chip it over Diego Lopez, only to be denied by the keeper. Javi Fuego then earned a yellow card for a tactical foul to stop Messi.

Jurado was looking to make amends in the 70th minute with a volley that was smothered by ter Stegen, but Barca would double their lead soon afterwards in the 76th minute.

Messi led the charge for Barca, carrying the ball to the edge of the penalty box before laying it off to his left for Ivan Rakitic, who finished coolly across the goalkeeper, giving him the eyes and rolling it into the far corner.

The result was put beyond doubt soon afterwards in the 86th minute, when Martin Caricol got his clearance all wrong, and it fell for Suarez to smuggle past the keeper and smash in for his second of the night.