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Marcador del partit

  • Date: Tuesday, 05 Sep
  • Competition: ???label.competicio23???
  • Stadium: Camp Nou, Barcelona


  • FC Barcelona: 0
  • RCD Espanyol: 1

Match report

Match Report

The goals

0-1, Corominas (min. 40)

Espanyol lift the Copa Catalunya (0-1)

Barca have failed in their bid to win their second title of the season after losing the final of the Copa Catalunya against Espanyol. The Barca performance deserved a better result, especially in the second half.

Espanyol have won the Copa Catalunya postponed from last season though a weakened Barca squad did enough to merit a better final score line, especially in the second half. On a more positive note, Rijkaard was able to give a run-out to a number of young hopefuls such as Sastre, Crosas, Dimas and Jeffren, who gained some valuable experience.

A fast start

The game started brightly with Espanyol's Luis Garcia finding himself with only Jorquera to beat after a defensive slip-up by Oleguer in the first minute. However, the Barca number two keeper reacted smartly to avoid the goal. This early chance spurred the Espanyol players on and they dominated possession in the opening minutes. For Barca, Crosas and Sastre began to make their presence felt and Rijkaard's team soon had chances of their own. Belletti shot high with only Gorka to beat in the 12th minute while 7 minutes later, Sylvinho fired in a thundering shot that the Espanyol goalkeeper stopped with some difficulty.

Goal just before halftime

An experienced Barca forward line, consisting of Saviola, Ezquerro and Giuly, was getting more and more service up front and, although there were no clear efforts on target, the three forwards created a general sensation of danger. This brought the Barca midfield into the action and the match seemed to be turning in Barca's favour. However, 6 minutes before halftime, Corominas collected a clearance on the edge of the box to fire an unstoppable shot past Jorquera to make it 0-1 for Espanyol.

Play opens up

After the break, the game opened up as Barca looked for the equaliser and the chances started to come. Giuly had the best of the bunch in the 50th minute thanks to a through ball from Saviola, but his curling shot went just wide of the post. Five minutes later he had another chance, this time from Ezquerro's pass, but was denied by Gorka. Jeffren came on in the 63rd minute and added penetration and speed down the wing. The rivalry between the two clubs was evident in the 67th minute when Moisés was yellow-carded for a harsh tackle on Saviola.

Last chance

The clock was ticking away and although the ball was in Espanyol's half for most of the time, the chances didn't come. Espanyol complicated life for themselves with Ito being sent off for his second yellow card. Motta had the chance to take the game to a penalty shootout in the 89th minute. He controlled a centre from Saviola in the 89th minute but fired high from the penalty spot.

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Saviola's decision

Javier Saviola opted to stay at FC Barcelona during the transfer window and Frank Rijkaard admitted that he was pleased: "We have to respect the decision that the player has made," he said. "He feels comfortable with his team-mates and he may have a chance. I treat has just another player, but that does not mean that he will always play. I treat him like that because he has earned respect."

Rijkaard: "We are taking the cup very seriously"

Frank Rijkaard has called up all his available first team players for the final of the Copa Catalunya on Tuesday evening and stated that he is taking the game very seriously.

The match against RCD Espanyol will take place in Girona on Tuesday while the majority of Barça's first team are away on international duty. Ten players are currently with their national teams, but the Blaugrana coach is not using that as an excuse and wants to send out a strong side for the cup final. "I have no fears about the match," Rijkaard said. "Some important players are away, but those that are here will play their best. Some of the younger players can also take part and we have them to help us. It will be good experience for them." Barça are set to name eight B team playes in the squad.

Valdverde's thoughts

RCD Espanyol coach; Ernesto Valverde, believes that the Copa Catalunya represents a great opportunity for his team as he explained "it would not be good to lose to Barcelona for a third time". Rijkaard responded by stating: "That is a normal reaction on the part of Espanyol and it is clear that they are taking the game seriously. We will go out to work harsd and play well with the desire to win the cup."

Ronaldinho's injury

Ronaldinho did not play int he first league game of the season against Celta Vigo because of a bruised left thigh and was also left out of the Brazil side that played Argentina in London at the weekend.

"The most important thing is that he recovers and comes back to us in the best possible shape," Rijkaard said. The Barça coach then denied once more that the Brazilian had been left out of the Celta game due to a disagreement with the coaching staff. "That is not a new story," he said. "From the start I have said that it is completely fictitious."

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