FC Barcelona

Espanyol 2-2 Barcelona: Player ratings as Barça snatch last-ditch Catalan derby draw

Krishan Davis
De Jong snatched a point for Barça
De Jong snatched a point for Barça / Eric Alonso/GettyImages
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Super sub Luuk de Jong netted a last-second equaliser as Barcelona rescued a point in hugely dramatic fashion in the Catalan derby against city rivals Espanyol on Sunday night.

Barça took the lead inside two minutes through their very first attack of the match. Jordi Alba swung in a deep cross from the left and picked out Pedri, who rose to meet the ball in mid-air and expertly volleyed home.

As you might expect in a derby, the atmosphere was fraught and Espanyol seemed more concerned with making robust challenges and berating their rivals than they did about equalising following the early goal.

Barcelona had to wait until the 37th minute for another clear opening, but Adama Traore blasted his shot straight at the goalkeeper from inside the box and the ball was quickly recycled only for Ferran Torres to head narrowly over.

Espanyol eventually composed themselves and bagged the leveller out of absolutely nothing five minutes before half-time. The spritely Sergi Darder was found in a yard of space on the edge of the Barça box and bent a sublime strike into the far corner, lifting the lid off the RCDE Stadium.

Barça had two half-chances to restore their lead before the break, but Torres' front-post header flashed over the crossbar before Alba misjudged a cross inside the six-yard box and ended up inadvertently clearing it.

The Blaugrana thought they were back ahead ten minutes into the second period when Los Periquitos failed to clear and Gavi lifted a fine finish over Diego Lopez, but the goal was chalked off following a VAR review as Frenkie de Jong was adjudged to have been offside in the lead-up.

Espanyol delivered the sucker punch in the 64th minute, with Darder involved again. The former Lyon midfielder lifted a wonderful through ball over the top of the Barcelona backline and the prolific Raul de Tomas pounced, racing in on goal and finishing with aplomb.

The visitors huffed and puffed but never really created a clear-cut opportunity until the clock ticked beyond 90 minutes.

Gerard Pique was shown a second yellow card alongside Espanyol's Nico Melamed following a needless clash in stoppage time, but the drama didn't end there.

Incredibly, Traore's last-second cross was met by substitute De Jong, and his header nestled in the bottom corner as Barça nabbed a point at the death.

Here's how the Barcelona players rated...


FC Barcelona player ratings

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Adria Pedrosa, Ronald Araujo
Araujo was forced off injured / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Marc-Andre ter Stegen (GK) - 5/10 - Not much he could do about the goals after being exposed by his defenders.

Sergiño Dest (RB) - 5/10 - Not much use at either end, not seeing much of the ball and losing duels.

Ronald Araujo (CB) - 6/10 - Steady first half but subbed at the break after taking a whack to the leg in one of those robust challenges.

Gerard Pique (CB) - 2/10 - Surpassed the legendary Carles Puyol's career appearance total for Barça. Didn't have a great game, though, losing out on the ground and in the air. Booked and then picked up a silly second yellow in stoppage time.

Jordi Alba (LB) - 7/10 - An assist inside two minutes as Pedri met his lovely deep cross. Always an attacking threat but sacrificed for a forward later in the game.

2. Midfielders

Pedro Gonzalez Lopez 'Pedri'
Pedri celebrates his opener / Eric Alonso/GettyImages

Sergio Busquets (DM) - 6/10 - Decent enough at the base of midfield but his metronomic passing was tempered by him losing most of his duels.

Pedri (CM) - 7/10 - Took his goal brilliantly just two minutes in, meeting Alba's cross in mid-air and volleying home smartly. Couldn't shut Darder down in time and became decreasingly influential.

Frenkie de Jong (CM) - 5/10 - Not at his best in the opening exchanges, loose in possession and in his passing. Hooked shortly after the hour mark having been the cause of Barça's disallowed goal.

3. Forwards

Adama Traore
Traore was often a threat / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Adama Traore (RW) - 8/10 - Looks right at home in La Liga. His close control and dribbling ability caused all sorts of problems, and his crossing was good too. Perfect last-second delivery for De Jong's leveller!

Ferran Torres (ST) - 5/10 - Toiled and saw a couple of headers fly over, but service to him wasn't the best.

Gavi (LW) - 6/10 - Engaged in a very physical battle with former Barça defender Aleix Vidal - a battle he won. Looked dangerous out wide and had a goal chalked off by VAR. Subbed.

4. Substitutes

Eric Garcia (CB) - 2/10 - On for the injured Ronald Araujo. Horrible defending for Espanyol's second, getting caught under a ball over the top. Booked for a heavy late tackle.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (ST) - 4/10 - Didn't make a difference.

Nico (CM) - N/A

Ousmane Dembele (LW) - 5/10 - Looked threatening but couldn't make the difference.

Luuk de Jong (ST) - 8/10 - The hero! Exceptional late header.


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