Barcelona travelled across town to La Liga rivals Espanyol for the Catalan Derby on Saturday night. After a lackluster first half in sub-zero temperatures, Espanyol striker Raul Tamudo scored a pair of second half goals to seal a historic 2-0 victory.
After fireworks in the press this week between the two rival chairmen the match failed to sparkle for the first half hour in the sub zero conditions. The Barcelona side was suffering without some of their stars as Rivaldo and Gerard were injured and Xavi and Rochembach are both suspended.
It was not until the 39th minute that Espanyol keeper Mora had to do any work, blocking a shot from Barcelona's Brazilian striker Geovanni. Just seconds later a long shot from Espanyol's Roger made Barcelona goalkeeper Bonano stir himself for the first time. Roger picked up an ankle injury for his troubles.
The first half ended with a weak finish from Barca's Patrick Kluivert after a poor first touch left him in trouble. In the second half Espanyol took charge. After 60 minutes, Espanyol captain Raul Tamudo put Frank de Boer under pressure and was fortunate to take a rebound off a poor goalkeeping clearance as he followed up - a strange goal but enough to give the home team a 1-0 lead.
Overmars tried a thirty-metre shot to bring the scores level but Mora was equal to it. Tamudo got his second goal in the 71st minute after a corner from his Argentinian teammate Rotchen. Espanyol coach Paco Flores must have been pleased the recent possible transfer of Tamudo to Glasgow Rangers fell through.
Ten minutes from time Barcelona threw everyone forward but Saviola was penalized for a deliberate handball and the chance went begging. The final goal attempt of the game came from Espanyol's Posse, who made a tremendous 30-metre run and then tried to chip the goalkeeper from 25-metres out but his effort struck the top of the bar.
Unlike last week when Espanyol threw away a two-goal lead against Valencia, this week it would be sweet victory for the Barcelona-based team. Barcelona now lie seventh in La Liga just six points ahead of their Catalan rivals who are 13th.