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Dembele named on bench for Barcelona derby clash

11 September, 2017, 00:20 | Author: Lula Armstrong
  • Lionel Messi has scored a hat-trick in Barcelona's 5-0 La Liga win over Espanyol

By the hour mark, the Argentine captain had made it 3-0.

Late goals from Gerard Pique and Luis Suarez completed the thrashing, with Dembele grabbing an assist, laying on the pass for the Uruguayan's goal.

After a slow opening, Barcelona took the lead after 26 minutes.

Suarez who shrugged off an injury whilst on worldwide break missed some decent chances, the closest being in the 55th minute when he blazed wide in the six yard box after a cutback from Messi.

'We are at the beginning of the season and the distances are not significant, but it is better to be ahead than behind.

However, the 22-year-old custodian could not repeat similar heroics during Barca's next effort on goal, which was fortunate to say the least, as Messi was on hand to simply tuck away his second of the evening following Jordi Alba's squared ball.

Far from fearing an imminent humiliation, Espanyol gamely responded and Barca goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen was grasping at air when Pablo Piatti's strike cannoned back off the post two minutes before half-time. "Game-by-game he keeps showing that Messi will be around for a long time to come".


Uruguay forward Suarez, who only returned from global duty on Friday, looked to be having one of those nights as he sent a cut-back from Messi over from six yards.

Five-time Ballon d'Or victor was in fine form, opening the scoring in the 26th minute, following up again ten minutes later, utilising expert service from Jordi Alba, sealing his hat-trick with more than 20 minutes remaining.

Espanyol were being outplayed but retained a sporadic threat, with Pique and Samuel Umtiti diverting Leo Batistao's 61st-minute shot behind.

The club promised two signings in the last week of the transfer window and none arrived and Bartomeu was booed by fans at Dembele's presentation in the Camp Nou stadium.

The French winger produced a quick show of footwork to turn Aaron Caricol, only to be brought down by the left-back, who was swiftly shown a yellow card.

Dembele has the unenviable task of replacing the departed Neymar and Barca's 105 million-euro man had to wait until 22 minutes from time for his debut as he replaced Gerard Deulofeu to a standing ovation.

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