Magical Messi nets two spectacular free-kicks in Barcelona's derby demolition

Aubrey Yates
December 9, 2018

To their credit Espanyol started the second half on top but they could do little to stop Messi, who beat Lopez again with another unbelievable free-kick in the 65th minute, this time from 30 yards.

Messi was unplayable as Barca thrashed Espanyol 4-0 in Saturday's Catalan derby at RCDE Stadium, moving the leaders three points clear at the top of LaLiga.

Espanyol's first shot on target was a low header following a corner from Oscar Duarte, which Marc Andre Ter Stegen saved easily.

Lionel Messi celebrates against Espanyol (Joan Monfort/AP). Messi's shot was struck just as perfectly at the first one, curling over the wall and into the top corner.

Goalkeeper Diego Lopez saved from Suarez, given the all-clear to play following a knee problem, as Barcelona looked to swiftly double their lead.

Victor Sanchez headed over the Barcelona crossbar 10 minutes from time as Espanyol continued to search for a goal, and it nearly arrived when Baptistao struck towards the far corner, but the ball just deflected wide.

The Barca captain, playing in this fixture for a joint-record 32nd time, beat Diego Lopez with a flawless free-kick from 25 yards that curled away from the goalkeeper's despairing dive.

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Goals from Brais Menzez, Okay Vokusli and Maxi Gomez had put Celta 3-0 ahead, but goals from Carlos Bacca in the 83rd and 87th minutes for Villarreal left Celta clinging on for all three points.

Suarez was sent away into the left side of the penalty area.

The second came in the 65th, with the ball a bit further back and from a slightly different angle.

Espanyol went looking for a lifeline at the start of the second half, but Barcelona remained risky on the break.

Messi had also set up Dembele's goal in the 26th, sending a well-placed throughball to the French forward.

Messi was in fine form against derby rivals Espanyol. However, following a lengthy review from the Video Assistant Referee, the effort was ruled out for a marginal offside.

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