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Five key stats from Barcelona 1-1 Espanyol



Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images

Barcelona’s plans to end 2022 on a high failed to come to fruition as local rivals Espanyol managed to salvage a 1-1 draw in the Catalan derby at Spotify Camp Nou today.

It was a contest during which the referee’s actions stole the limelight, but Barça’s lackadaisical display cannot be ignored as Xavi’s brigade did not always look convincing on the afternoon.

Marcos Alonso had put the Catalans in front early in the game, but undid his good work by gifting a penalty in the second half, which Espanyol capitalised on.

By doing so, the 32-year-old became the first Barcelona player to score a goal and concede a penalty both in the same La Liga game since Ronald Araujo against Getafe in April 2021.

As iterated earlier, the match was dominated by the referee, Mateu Lahoz, showing cards left, right, and centre in the closing stages. One of the victims of it was Barcelona defender Jordi Alba as he saw two yellow cards in quick succession and was sent off.

It was a disappointing end to a momentous outing for Alba, as he was playing his 300th La Liga game with Barcelona (277 as a starter). Only 11 footballers had previously reached this figure with the Blaugrana in the competition.

Despite the draw, Barcelona remain atop the La Liga table, thanks to a better goal difference than arch-rivals Real Madrid. Their form at Camp Nou has been key to this run.

Indeed, during the 2022/23 season, Barcelona have failed to win just two La Liga matches at home – the first one against Rayo Vallecano (0-0) on the opening matchday and the second one coming today versus Espanyol (1-1).

Interestingly, in both matches, the Catalans had an xG differential of 1.4, having posted a better xG value than their opponents on both occasions.

The 1-1 draw against Espanyol also meant that Barcelona are currently on their longest unbeaten run in the history of the La Liga Catalan derby: 25 matches.

Finally, as we wrap up 2022, following matchday 15 of La Liga, there have been 870 goals scored in the competition this year (2.5 goals per game). This is the second-lowest total in the competition in a calendar year in the 21st century (845 goals in 2020, 2.38 on average).

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