First Division - Day 18

Espanyol 3 - Barcelona 1

Espanyol: Kameni; Velasco (Sergio Sánchez 60'), Jarque, Torrejón, Chica; Rufete, Moisés Hurtado, De la Peña (Jonatas 79'), Riera; Luis García, Tamudo (Pandiani 68'). 4-4-2.
Barcelona: Víctor Valdés; Belletti, Puyol, Márquez, Van Bronckhorst; Xavi, Edmilson, Iniesta (Oleguer 85'); Giuly (Saviola 46'), Gudjohnsen (Motta 63'), Ronaldinho. 4-3-3.

Team changes: Espanyol: Chica for Zabaleta / Barça: Van Bronckhorst, Ronaldinho for Sylvinho, Ezquerro.

1-0. 31. Luis García. Got on end of Tamudo's cross to turn ball past Valdés.
1-1. 60. Saviola. Shrugged off challenge and beat Kameni from outside of area.
2-1. 65. Tamudo. Steered header wide of Valdés from Sergio Sánchez cross.
3-1. 91. Rufete. Turned Luis García pass past keeper on counter attack.

Barcelona were beaten 3-1 by city neighbours Espanyol on Saturday evening, a result which means that Frank Rijkaard's side will not catch leaders Sevilla this weekend. Barça had won all of their last visits to Montjuic, and they seemed well set when Ronaldinho hit the bar with a free kick, and then set up Gudjohnsen for him to just fail to beat Kameni. But Rufete put Valdés to the test at the other end, and Luis García got on the end of Tamudo's cross to put the locals ahead on the half hour mark.

Tamudo brought another save out of Valdés soon afterwards, but the first half ended with Kameni doing well to keep out Gudjohnsen's header and Ronaldinho's free kick. Even so Rijkaard decided to bring on Saviola for Giuly at the break, and the Argentine striker made it three in two games, picking up a short pass from Gudjohnsen and shrugging off a challenge before firing a low shot past Kameni. But soon afterwards Tamudo restored the lead with a header from Sergio Sánchez's cross, causing Rijkaard to smash the glass in the dug out with his fist out of frustration.

Tamudo had been a late doubt due to a virus infection, and Valverde took him off after the goal. And his replacement Pandiani should have wrapped things up, shooting wide on a quick breakaway and then heading another chance down and up on to the crossbar with Valdés beaten. Ronaldinho curled a shot wide at the other end, but Pandiani brought another diving save out of Valdés before Rufete made sure of the three points with a third goal on a quick breakaway in injury time. Espanyol move up to eighth in the table, but for their supporters that was the least important fact of the night.