Tito Vilanova was back in charge of Barcelona for the Catalan derby against Espanyol, and it could hardly have gone better for him. With Barcelona 4-0 ahead by half time, Espanyol must have been fearing a cricket score, but Barca lost some of their urgency, understandably, and that remained the score until the end.
Pedro was unlucky not to get a hat-trick, having seen two perfectly good goals chalked off for offside. Pedro will be happy, though, as he was desperate to add to his tally of just one goal in the Primera liga this season. His performances have deserved more, and a bit of luck with a slight deflection from Messi’s shot settled his nerves. His second was taken with a striker’s skill and confidence, as were the two that were disallowed.
Barcelona were slick and dangerous from kick off, and it took just 10 minutes for Xavi to finish off a typical Barca move, involving Messi and Iniesta that mesmerised the Espanyol defence. Pedro’s brace was quickly followed by the fourth. Fabregas was tripped by the keeper, and Messi made no mistake from the spot.
Cesc was instrumental in everything and was unlucky not to get on the score sheet himself, and Messi hit the bar with a free kick, but Barca were in cruise control. David Villa came on for 25 minutes and looked sharp and hungry. With Pedro finding his shooting boots, the departure of Villa became a little more likely, but we will have to wait and see.
Watch highlights below.