A seventh league goal from Alexis Sanchez was enough for Barca to continue their unbeaten run this season. Messi had a frustrating game as he bids to find the net and put an end to his goal drought.
Martino put his rotations in place and used Alves, Mascherano, Pique and Montoya at the back with Iniesta replacing Fabregas in the midfield. Busquets and Xavi teamed up with iniesta and Martino opted for his magnificent three up front composed of Alexis, Neymar and Messi.
Barca had much of the ball possession in the first half but it was Espanyol who nearly shocked the Catalan giants with a shock lead that failed to materialize. A misunderstanding between Alves and Valdes let Víctor Sánchez in the through the back door to score. If it weren’t for the Barca keeper’s lightening reactions, Espanyol would have been one nil up.
FC Barcelona nearly found the net just before the half time whistle when Dani Alves set himself up with a shot that ricocheted off the post before being cleared by the visitors.
Some stellar play from Neymar then resulted in a 1-0 lead for the home side. Sergio Busquets found Neymar on the left and the young Brazilian then threaded a ball through the legs of two visiting players that just managed to deflect off the fingertips of keeper Francsico Casilla only to see in form Alexis Sánchez squeeze the ball into the net at the far post.
It was Alexis’ seventh goal of the season who is, without question, enjoying his finest season in a Barcelona shirt so far.