Barcelona’s lead over Actual Madrid atop the LaLiga standings evaporated on Saturday after they had been held to a 1-1 house draw by native rivals Espanyol in a bad-tempered conflict through which either side had been lowered to 10 males.
Madrid had taken high spot on Friday with a 2-0 win at Actual Valladolid, placing stress on Barcelona to reply in opposition to an Espanyol facet battling to keep away from relegation.
Defender Marcos Alonso put Barcelona in entrance at Camp Nou, earlier than Joselu transformed a second-half penalty to stage the sport.
Barcelona began strongly, with Gavi stinging the palms of Espanyol goalkeeper Alvaro Fernandez within the sixth minute, shortly earlier than Alonso glanced a header into the online following a nook.
After going forward, Xavi Hernandez’s facet dominated possession with their slick passing for the remainder of the primary half, however struggled to transform any of the quite a few goal-scoring probabilities that fell their means.
They saved up the stress after the break, however all their good work got here undone as Alonso turned from hero to zero, freely giving a penalty following a slipshod foul on Joselu.
Joselu picked himself as much as convert the spot-kick, calmly rolling it straight down the center to make it 1-1 within the 73rd minute.
Tempers flared within the aftermath of the equaliser, with Barcelona’s Jordi Alba being despatched off after receiving back-to-back yellow playing cards for vociferous protests in opposition to the referee.
Espanyol’s Vinicius Souza was then proven a second yellow card for a foul on Robert Lewandowski two minutes later.
Defender Leandro Cabrera was additionally proven a crimson card for kneeing Lewandowski within the again after he was introduced down by Souza, however a VAR assessment let Espanyol off the hook.
Spanish referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz, who attracted criticism earlier this month after exhibiting 16 yellow playing cards in Argentina’s quarter-final win over the Netherlands on the World Cup, went to the monitor earlier than overturning his determination.
Espanyol goalkeeper Fernandez saved his facet in it with a few high quality stops in the direction of the top of the match, retaining out a header from Andreas Christensen and a low shot from Lewandowski, as Barcelona had been unable to discover a winner.
Barcelona stay on high of the standings resulting from their superior objective distinction, regardless of being stage with rivals Madrid on 38 factors from 15 matches, whereas Espanyol transfer as much as sixteenth.
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