Pedro Rodríguez increased Barça’s advantage to three goals when he fired the ball into the back of the net on 14 and 26 minutes. The Spanish forward, who is back to his goalscoring ways, netted two very different types of goals against Espanyol. His first goal came from a fantastic play started by Cesc on the end line which was subtly finished off by Pedro with a clever touch past Casilla. In his second goal, Pedro rushed on to a sublime pass from Busquets to chip Espanyol’s sprawled keeper.
Barça’s midfielder was incisive and direct against Espanyol this evening. His passes for the likes of Messi, Iniesta, and Pedro were fundamental in his team’s victory in the Catalan derby. Even though he didn’t score, Fàbregas was one of the best players on the pitch. He linked up brilliantly with Xavi, Iniesta and Busquets, thus giving Tito Vilanova an interesting tactical option in the midfield.
With Barça’s midfield supplying the creative juices for the team, the defence, especially Dani Alves and Jordi Alba, provided power and speed. The Catalan defender’s pace down the left wing continues to give Barça another outlet on attack. Tonight’s match against Espanyol saw Jordi Alba play a fundamental role as his presence on the left forced the visiting team’s defence to spread wide in an attempt to cut off his constant flow of crosses into Casilla’s area.
Messi and Xavi got their names alongside Pedro’s on the goalscoring sheet, but Iniesta, even though he didn’t score, was the driving force behind his team. From the midfield to Casilla’s goal, Iniesta controlled, dominated and distributed the ball like none other. He makes the difficult look easy. In the Catalan derby, he simply had no equal.