Barcelona held 1-1 at home by Espanyol after World Cup break
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona stumbled in its first game since a seven-week World Cup break when it was held…
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona stumbled in its first game since a seven-week World Cup break when it was held 1-1 by Espanyol at Camp Nou in a heated derby that finished with both teams having a player sent off in the final minutes on Saturday.
Barcelona was in control from the fourth minute after defender Marcos Alonso scored with a header. But complacency by the hosts and some staunch defending by Espanyol gave striker Joselu Mata the chance to equalize from a penalty in the 73rd after he was fouled by Alonso in the box.
The game then turned testy. Referee Miguel Mateu showed a second yellow card to both Barcelona defender Jordi Alba for protesting in the 78th and Espanyol’s Vinicius Souza for fouling a home player on the break in the 80th.
Barcelona will finish the year, which comes after 15 of 38 rounds, ahead of Real Madrid on goal difference at the top of the Spanish league standings.
A moment of silence was held before the game in memory of Brazil great Pelé, who passed away on Thursday.
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