Barca stay on course
Barcelona remain on course to match Real Madrid's 100-point record after beating local rivals Espanyol 2-0.
Last Updated: 26/05/13 10:41pm
Barcelona remain on course to match Real Madrid's 100-point record in the Primera Division after comfortably beating local rivals Espanyol away from home.
Tito Vilanova's side took the lead through a brilliant goal by Alexis Sanchez, while Pedro Rodriguez made sure of the win by adding a second after Espanyol had been reduced to 10 men thanks to Wakaso Mubarak's dismissal.
The champions will reach a century of points if they beat Malaga at the Nou Camp on the final day of the season, while Javier Aguirre's men waved goodbye to their already faint chances of qualifying for the Europa League.
Barcelona were treated to a guard of honour by the Espanyol players before the start of the game and enjoyed 70 per cent of the possession across 90 minutes, but they did not play their opponents off the park as Espanyol enjoyed a number of chances to score.
The first came after just two minutes, Diego Colotto shooting over the crossbar after a scramble in the box following a free-kick.
It was Barcelona, however, who took the lead through a sublime goal by Alexis on 14 minutes.
The Chilean advanced towards goal on the left-hand side before beating two defenders and exchanging a quick one-two with David Villa. He then received the return pass on his chest and curled the ball into the bottom corner with the inside of his right boot.
Cesc Fabregas soon struck the post from inside the area, while Andres Iniesta came close to doubling the lead moments before the break only for his stinging effort to fly just wide of a post.
Villa missed a brilliant opportunity to score 10 minutes into the second half, shooting wide from close range after controlling a pass from Fabregas.
The Spain striker was distraught at wasting the chance and was visibly dejected when he was substituted for Pedro with 19 minutes remaining.
Espanyol appealed for a penalty late in the second half when Sergio Garcia went down in the area but their protests fell on deaf ears, and Christian Stuani had a golden chance to equalise but could not get his shot away.
A minute later Espanyol's chances of getting back into the game were dealt another blow when Wakaso was sent off for pushing referee David Fernandez Borbalan, after disagreeing with his decision to award a foul against Joan Capdevila.
Barca wrapped up the points with four minutes to go. Pedro played a one-two with fellow substitute Xavi Hernandez before slotting past Cristian Alvarez with ease.