Luuk de Jong came up with a last-ditch equaliser as Barcelona salvaged a point against neighbours Espanyol in the Catalan derby.
Barcelona were off to a blinder as star midfielder Pedri put them in front just two minutes into the contest. The teenager connected with Jordi Alba’s cross to volley it home. The Blaugrana had to wait for their next big chance, which came in the 37th minute, but Adama Traore ended up firing the ball right at the Espanyol goalkeeper.
Minutes later, it would come to haunt Barcelona as Sergi Darder scored a golazo from the edge of the box to level things up heading into half-time. Xavi Hernandez’s men could have restored their lead after the break, but Ferran Torres headed over from a promising position while Gavi’s stunner was chalked off for offside in the buildup.
Four minutes past the hour mark, Espanyol hit Barcelona as Darder sent Raul de Tomas through a sublime pass and the former Real Madrid hitman made no mistake to put the hosts in front. Barça pushed and probed in search of an equaliser but could not find a way through as tempers flared on the pitch.
Gerard Pique and Nico Melamed were both sent off in stoppage time after they clashed against each other, leaving both teams with ten men. And in the sixth minute of added time, when it looked like Barcelona were going to lose, Luuk de Jong stood up to direct Adama’s cross into the back of the net to equalise and rescue a point for his team.
The draw ensures that Barcelona stay in fourth place ahead of Atletico Madrid, who had picked up a win in their game on Saturday. Here are our player ratings for the Blaugrana stars from the entertaining encounter at the RCDE Stadium.
Barcelona Player Ratings
Marc-Andre ter Stegen: 5/10
The German shot-stopper could not have done much to stop either of Espanyol’s goals on the night as he was left exposed by the defence. Otherwise, he was not called into action a great deal for most of the game.
Sergino Dest: 6/10
Getting the nod in place of the suspended Dani Alves, the USMNT ace showed good application and tried to help the team by pushing forward when needed and dropping into midfield when required.
Ronald Araujo: 6/10
The Uruguayan defender was solid and aggressive from the off but picked up an injury during the first half and had to be replaced by Eric Garcia at the half-time break.
Gerard Pique: 4/10
Gerard Pique moves into the top five in the Barcelona all-time appearances list 🔵🔴 pic.twitter.com/QFX6AwzNPm
— GOAL (@goal) February 13, 2022
The veteran defender went past Carles Puyol on the list of most appearances for Barcelona. But, Pique struggled on the night as he could not contain the Espanyol forwards and came second best in duels. He was sent off late in the game to compound his troubles.
Jordi Alba: 6.5/10
The left-back produced a fine deep cross just two minutes into the game to set Pedri up for the opening goal. He continued to push forward and provide an outlet but missed a chance in the second half. He was sacrificed for an attacker after Barcelona went behind.
Frenkie de Jong: 5/10
After a few positive performances, this was a step backwards from Frenkie de Jong as he struggled to get a foothold in the game. The Dutchman was not at his sharpest in possession and did not provide adequate defensive support either. He then led to Gavi’s goal getting chalked off after being in an offside position. He was taken off soon after.
Sergio Busquets: 6/10
The Barcelona captain did what was needed without really imposing himself on the proceedings. He kept things ticking along and made a few recoveries, but there were times he was caught out as well.
It took Pedri 74 seconds to give Barcelona the lead against Espanyol 😛 pic.twitter.com/PqkM55NQgU
— B/R Football (@brfootball) February 13, 2022
He got the ball rolling for Barcelona with a well-connected volley just two minutes into the game. Pedri was involved in many positive things for Barcelona in the first half, but his influence started to wane after the break. He was withdrawn late on for match-winner Luuk de Jong.
Adama Traore: 8/10
Another game, another hugely impressive display from Barcelona’s prodigal son. He looked like a threat each time he got the ball and ran at the Espanyol defence at pace and delivered some teasing crosses. Adama should have done better with a chance in the first period but made up for it with a perfect cross for Luuk de Jong’s stoppage-time equaliser.
— SPORF (@Sporf) February 13, 2022
Ferran Torres: 5/10
A largely ineffective performance from the former Manchester City forward. Torres had a couple of half-chances on either side of half-time but headed over on both occasions. He lacked the requisite service to trouble Espanyol.
Yet another lively display from the teenager, starting on the left flank. Gavi was involved in an enticing duel with ex-Barcelona man Aleix Vidal and got the better of the veteran. The teenager found the back of the net in the second half but unfortunately saw it chalked off due to offside in the lead-up to the goal.
Eric Garcia: 4/10
The Spaniard came on for the injured Araujo at half-time and struggled, which was expected given his lack of minutes. Garcia got caught under the ball leading to Espanyol’s second goal and was booked later in the second half. Sluggish display.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: 4/10
He came on for Frenkie de Jong just past the hour mark and hardly made any notable contribution. Aubameyang will need time to adjust to Barcelona’s style of play.
Nico Gonzalez: 6/10
The youngster came on for fellow La Masia graduate Gavi in the 72nd minute. Nico added energy and industry to the Barcelona midfield as they pushed for the equaliser.
Ousmane Dembele: 6/10
The Frenchman was thrust into action by Xavi as Barça needed a goal. He forced the issue with his pace and runs and won a few corner-kicks.
Luuk de Jong: 7/10
— Luuk de Jong (@LuukdeJong9) February 13, 2022
The Dutchman came on for Pedri in the 88th minute, and while ratings are not given to players who are on the field for less than 15 minutes, Luuk de Jong’s vital contribution makes him an exception. The much-maligned striker executed a perfect header deep into stoppage time to turn Adama’s cross into the back of the net and salvage a point for Barcelona in the derby.