Despite seeing his Barcelona side romp past Espanyol 5-0 during the Derby at Camp Nou, manager, Ernesto Valverde says it wasn’t as easy as the result might suggest.
With fierce rivals Real Madrid dropping points earlier, Barcelona needed to win theirs to open up an early lead and they were off to a good start when Lionel Messi gave them the lead in the 25th minute, after a quiet first quarter in the game.
Rakitic almost added a second, but it was Messi who doubled the lead ten minutes before the break.
Espanyol nearly pulled one back, with the break within sight when Piatti rattled the post, but Barca held on to the break with a 2-0 advantage.
After the break, the home side almost made it three, but Luiz Suarez’s backheel, after good work by Deulofeu, was saved by pau Lopez in goal for the visitors.
But Messi completed his hat-trick just after the hour mark when he made it 3-0 to Barcelona, before further goals from Gerard Pique and Suarez, who was set up by debutant, Ousmane Dembele, late on sealed a comfortable win for Barca, as they maintained their perfect start to new campaign.
However, according to the former Athletic Bilbao boss, the game wasn’t as comfortable as the result alludes.
“The result might suggest that it was an easy match but it wasn’t,” Valverde said moments after the match.
“Derbies are never easy. [But] the most important thing is that the team is fine, the players are implicated and we’re playing the kind of football that will bring people to the stadium.”
Barcelona are now top of the La Liga table on 9 points, four points clear of rivals Real Madrid, who were held 1-1 by Levante at the Bernabeu.
Photo credit: @FCBarcelona