Well, that match was all about Messi. One of his best ever performances in a Barcelona shirt, and there have been a few down the years. His two freekicks were highlight reel moments. Up against that sort of brilliance, Espanyol just didn't stand a chance against their city rivals.
- 2nd Half
- SuárezEl Haddadi79'
- MelendoSergio Garciá63'
- PérezLéo Baptistão59'
- 1st Half
RCD Espanyol - FC Barcelona
Liga - 8 December 2018
Liga – Follow the Football match between RCD Espanyol and FC Barcelona live with Eurosport. The match starts at 19:45 on 8 December 2018. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
Who will come out on top in the battle of the managers Rubi or Ernesto Valverde? Find out by following our live matchcast.
Have your say by voting on who will win between RCD Espanyol and FC Barcelona? Enjoy some pre-match reading with related articles about these two Enjoy some pre-match reading with related articles about these two Football teams.
Head-to-head: see historical stats and visit our detailed profiles for RCD Espanyol vs FC Barcelona. Get all the latest on Football: fixtures, results and tables.
- End of 2nd Half
FULL TIME: Espanyol 0-4 Barcelona
Busquets also took a tackle to the back, but he seems to be fine to continue until the end of the match. At least that tackle was made by an Espanyol player and not Vidal!
That was almost a blunder. Vidal went in for a tackle and ended up sliding straight into Lenglet, his own player. That ended up being a pretty bad tackle on the Barcelona defender.
Five minutes of stoppage time to be played at the end of the match.
Granero has a freekick about the same distance out that Messi scored his opener from. Instead, he clips a cross into the box, but the header is straight at Ter Stegen. Pretty tame in the end.
This has been an outstanding performance from Barcelona, and from Messi. When you have a player like him, you always have a chance. What are we going to do when he's no longer around?
Denis is widely expected to leave Barcelona when the January transfer window opens. Is Valverde trying to put the midfielder in the shop window? He has hardly featured this season.
Alena must have thought he'd get some minutes in this second half. The youngster was impressive during the week in the Copa del Rey, but he's still a peripheral figure in the league.
- OffIvan RakiticFC Barcelona
- OnDenis SuárezFC Barcelona
Rakitic's game is over and he comes off to be replaced by Denis. He'll get the last seven minutes.
Should have hit the target! Sanchez jumpe highest to beat his man to a corner kick delivery into the penalty area. He might have jumped too early, though, and heads over.
The RCDE Stadium has pretty much emptied in this second half. The home fans don't want to watch their team being dismantled so brutally by their closest rivals. Sore one.
- OffLuis SuárezFC Barcelona
- OnMunir El HaddadiFC Barcelona
On comes Munir for the final 10 minutes and he replaces Suarez, who is grimacing as he walks off.
- Yellow cardDidacRCD Espanyol
Didac enters the referee's book for dragging Messi as he dribbled past the Espanyol man.
I guess that's why VAR is so useful, but it took a long, long time for the officials to reach their decision. The fans inside the stadium seemed confused at what was happening.
GOAL CHALKED OFF! The Espanyol fans aren't happy about that. Duarte was offside when the delivery was made into the box and the officials have decided that the goal shouldn't stand.
VAR REVIEW! There's a long, long wait here. The officials are having a look at the Espanyol goal, which looked to be offside. Everyone is still waiting. This has been going on for a couple minutes.
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Espanyol 1 (73 mins - Oscar Duarte) Barcelona 4. The hosts have one back! The freekick delivery from Garcia was a good one and Duarte stuck out a boot to divert the finish into the back of the net. There is a question of offside, though, and so the officials will look at the goal through VAR.
Some of the home fans are already leaving their seats. This has been a sore one for Espanyol. They have played quite well, on the whole, but are being thumped by their rivals.
The Espanyol players believe that Pique should have been shown a yellow card for that foul on Sanchez. Indeed, the argument could be made that he should have been booked.
If this game wasn't over before, it certainly is now. Espanyol have been the better team in this second half, but they don't have anyone like Messi (because who does?) to provide a moment like that.
This is a performance for ages. In the week that Messi was ranked the fifth best player in the world right now, he is serving up a rebuttal. This is a god among men. He's from another planet.
- GoalLionel MessiFC Barcelona
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Espanyol 0 Barcelona 4 (65 mins - Lionel Messi). He's done it AGAIN! This is an incredible showing by Messi, even by his alien standards. It's another wonderful freekick from the Barcelona number 10. A Golazo from Messi. There was nothing Lopez could have done to stop that. Unstoppable.
- OffOscar MelendoRCD Espanyol
- OnSergio GarciáRCD Espanyol
Indeed, there's the change from Espanyol and it's Garcia who comes on for the final 25 minutes.
Looks Espanyol might be ready to make another change. They feel that they can change the dyanmic of this game. However, if they are to do that they need a goal quite soon.
This much be so demoralising for Espanyol. They haven't played poorly. In fact, they have played quite well at times. And yet the brilliance of Barcelona has put them to the sword.
Barcelona have taken their foot off the gas since the half time interval. You can hardly blame them. Three first half goals have put them in this commanding position. Easy street.
- OffHernán PérezRCD Espanyol
- OnLéo BaptistãoRCD Espanyol
Espanyol make their first change and it's Baptistao who comes on for the home side.
Wasteful! Messi's pass through for Dembele was perfect, but the Frenchman took too long to get the shot away and that allowed the Espanyol defence time to get back and recover.
Messi isn't moving so freely. It's not quite clear where he is feeling the injury - he has felt both his arm, which he injured earlier in the season, and his ankle. Might this be serious?
Messi gives up a freekick to Suarez 25 yards out, but the latter smashes his effort straight into the Espanyol wall. Maybe Messi will take the next one? Suarez had his try.
Messi injury? This doesn't look to be too serious, but Valverde won't be encouraged by the sight of his number 10 down on the ground. Messi is back up on his feet. Was that his arm again?
It must be said that Barcelona have barely been out of their own half since the restart. This has been better from the home side, but there's surely too much work for them to do.
Espanyol have started the second half well, but then, they also started the first half well and ended up heading into the half time break three goals down. Barca have been too good.
Pique made the tackle! Melendo tried to dribble his way through the Barcelona defence, but Pique made the tackle as the last man before he could reach Ter Stegen's goal.
We have become numb to Messi's brilliance. This performance has served as a reminder of just how good he is. There's no way there are four players better than him right now.
No changes made by either manager at the break. Espanyol are probably out of this game and they haven't even played that badly. It's just that Barcelona have been excellent.
- 2nd Half
The second half is under way! Barcelona have a 3-0 lead over Espanyol in this La Liga fixture.
What did you make of the first half at RCDE Stadium? Is there any way back for Espanyol from this? Is Messi really only the fifth best player in the world? Tweet me your thoughts!
- End of 1st Half
HALF TIME: Espanyol 0-3 Barcelona. The Spanish champions are three goals to the good. Espanyol haven't even played that poorly, but Barcelona and Messi have been untouchable.
- GoalLuis SuárezFC Barcelona
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Espanyol 0 Barcelona 3 (44 mins - Luis Suarez). This derby is as good as over. Suarez gets goalside of his marker, wriggling in on goal. Somehow, the Barcelona number nine squeezes home the finish from an impossibly tight angle. How did he score from that angle?
Header over! That was a half chance for Perez. He got up to get on the end of a cross from Vila, but having beat Alba in the air the Espanyol number 17 sends his header over.
Messi has been the standout for Barcelona in this first half, but Dembele has also been excellent. This is his fourth start in a row. Could it be that Valverde is starting to trust him?
This is Barcelona at their very best. They have been exceptional in this first half and Messi has been the ringleader. Seriously, how do you stop him when he's in this mood?
Save! Then post! Espanyol are somehow trailing by just two goals! First, Lopez makes the save from Rakitic's header. Then Messi's header on the rebound comes off the inside of the post.
The weight of that pass over the top from Messi for Suarez was sensational. This has been quite the performance from the Barcelona number 10. Best in the world. No doubt about it.
And this was the second goal from Dembele. Another excellent finish.
Off the post! Inches away from being a third for Barcelona. It was Messi's pass through to the striker (because who else would it be?), but on the scissor kick he can only hit the woodwork.
This is better from Espanyol, but trailing 2-0 after just 34 minutes, there's a very real chance that they have simply given themselves too much to do to mount a fightback.
This was the first goal from Messi... *shocked face emoji*
Duarte header! If Espanyol are going to get back into this match, it will likely be through a set piece. This time Duarte gets a header on target, but it was an easy enough save for Ter Stegen.
The thing is, Espanyol haven't done all that wrong. They haven't played poorly, and yet down to the brilliance of Messi they find themselves two goals down after just half an hour.
This has become the Messi show. Did he take he Ballon d'Or as a personal slight? Because on the basis of this first half, the Argentinean didn't like finishing fifth in the voting.
Keep in mind that Messi was only fifth in the Ballon d'Or voting for 2018. Can you really believe there are four players better in world football than the Argentinean? Because I can't.
- GoalOusmane DembéléFC Barcelona
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Espanyol 0 Barcelona 2 (26 mins - Ousmane Dembele). Barcelona have a two-goal cushion in the derby! It was Dembele with the finish, curling the shot into the far corner of the Espanyol net, but how did Messi keep hold of the ball for the assist? He was on the floor, had players around him, but still managed to make the pass.
Barcelona have taken a grip of this game in the past 10 minutes or so. A second goal before half time would surely put them in an unassailable position. They are pressing hard.
Barcelona have missed Suarez in recent weeks, but the striker looks to be off the pace. That has always been an issue with Suarez - it takes him a while to get back up to speed.
This has become a tough period in the match for Espanyol. This was an even match before Messi's opener, but now it's Barcelona who are on top and searching for another goal.
Chance for a second! Suarez might feel that he should have doubled Barcelona's advantage. It was Messi who created the chance, but Lopez made the save with his legs.
The thing about Messi is that he is actually more dangerous when the freekick is a little further out. For most players, 25 yards would be too far out, but not for Barcelona's number 10.
I'm not sure if Barcelona actually deserve that lead given the way they have started this match, but when you have players of the quality of Messi, you always stand a chance of scoring.
- GoalLionel MessiFC Barcelona
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Espanyol 0 Barcelona 1 (17 mins - Lionel Messi). A stunning opener to break the deadlock in the derby! That freekick must have been 25 yards out, maybe even further, but Messi whips his foot around the ball and finds the top corner of Lopez's net! What a sensational strike from the great man!
Barcelona were impressive in the Copa del Rey during the week. They gave starts to both Alena and Puig. Alena is on the bench this afternoon, so could we see the youngster later on?
There's a sense that both teams are just feeling each other out in this first half. Espanyol are certainly competitive and are maybe even edging things, but they haven't had a chance yet.
Atletico Madrid won against Alaves earlier today, while Sevilla were pegged back in stoppage time away to Valencia. Real Madrid don't play until tomorrow evening. Chance for Barca to stretch their legs.
It's the home side who are having the better of the play now. Espanyol are showing more tenacity in the past few minutes and they are now taking the game to their rivals.
Espanyol have pace on the break. That could cause Barcelona some problems if the home side can get in behind their full backs. This time, Perez got up the pitch, but his shot was well wide.
Messi was desperate to create the space for the shot on the edge of the penalty area, cutting inside off the right side, but Espanyol crowded four players around him to make the tackle.
Suarez ends up in a minor skirmish off the ball. It was with Lopez that the Barcelona striker clashed just momentarily. Of course, that's certainly not out of character. We expect it from Suarez.
Barcelona have struggled at times on the road this season. Espanyol will hoping that their Catalan rivals suffer from travel sickness once again this evening. It's been a subdued start.
The home side seem quite content sitting back and absorbing the pressure from Barcelona, who have taken an early grip of the game. Pique is seeing lots of the ball.
Pique scored in this fixture last season, and he has scored in his last two games for Barcelona as well. Will the centre back find the net again? The home supporters hope not. 'Booooooo!'
- 1st Half
The match is under way! It's Espanyol against Barcelona in La Liga. This should be a good one.
Okay, here we go. About to get under way. Kick off is just seconds away.
The two teams are now out on the pitch. Handshakes are taking place. The coin has been tossed.
There's just seven points between Espanyol and Barcelona in the Liga table at the moment. Six-pointer.
Not long until kick off. This has the potential to be a derby for the ages. This is a fixture that hasn't always produced drama, but Espanyol will fancy their chances of an upset.
Of course, this is a derby, but it's a one-sided rivalry. Espanyol haven't had the best of luck against Barcelona in recent years. However, they are flying high this season. They have a chance.
I'm Graham Ruthven and you can catch me on Twitter ahead of the game to let me know your thoughts. Can Espanyol cause Barcelona problems this evening? Tweet me!
Suarez is back! Barcelona have missed the Uruguayan striker in recent weeks, but he's back in the lineup this evening. We should see a better display from the Catalans against their rivals.
TEAM NEWS: Espanyol - Lopez, J.Lopez, D.Lopez, Duarte, Vila, Sanchez, Roca, Darder, Perez, Iglesias, Melando. /// Barcelona - Ter Stegen, Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba, Rakitic, Busquets, Vidal, Messi, Suarez, Dembele.
Good evening and welcome to Eurosport's LIVE coverage of the Spanish Liga fixture between Espanyol and Barcelona. We'll bring you all the action as it happens. Kick off is at 7.45pm.