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Barcelona

Neymar, Messi and solid Barcelona defence secure Catalan derby win

ESPN FC's Mark Donaldson breaks down Barcelona's 2-0 win in the Derbi Barceloni against Espanyol behind goals from Lionel Messi and Neymar.
Barcelona head coach Luis Enrique was left satisfied after his team cemented their position at the top of La Liga with a 2-0 victory over city rivals Espanyol.
Ten-man Barcelona saw off Espanyol thanks to goals from Neymar and Messi.

Barcelona comfortably beat city rivals Espanyol in the Catalan derby to go five points clear at the top of La Liga and pile the pressure on Real Madrid, who visit Celta Vigo on Sunday.

It should have been plain sailing for the Blaugrana thanks to two brilliantly crafted first-half goals from Neymar and Lionel Messi, whose passing was superb throughout.

However, a near capacity crowd attempted to drag the home side back into the match early in the second half after Jordi Alba stupidly debated a corner...

Focus carries Barcelona to derby win at Espanyol

ESPN FC's Mark Donaldson breaks down Barcelona's 2-0 win in the Derbi Barceloni against Espanyol behind goals from Lionel Messi and Neymar.
Barcelona head coach Luis Enrique was left satisfied after his team cemented their position at the top of La Liga with a 2-0 victory over city rivals Espanyol.
Ten-man Barcelona saw off Espanyol thanks to goals from Neymar and Messi.

Three quick thoughts as Barcelona take another step towards the La Liga title with a 2-0 derbi win at Catalan capital neighbours Espanyol on Saturday.

1. Barca keep focus and get job done early

This Catalan capital derbi game looked like a potential banana skin for Barcelona. Espanyol have been in decent form recently, and it seemed possible for at least part of Barca's collective mindset to be elsewhere in the run-up to kickoff.

Friday's Champions League semifinal draw has set up an emotional...

Real Madrid show fighting spirit, Barca ease to win - Five things from La Liga

The ESPN FC crew discuss the La Liga title race, and unanimously predict that Barcelona will not drop points in their remaining fixtures.

Five thoughts gleaned from the weekend's action, as Barcelona eased past Espanyol and Real Madrid showed some fighting spirit against Celta Vigo.

1. Barca focus spot on

The Catalan capital derbi at Espanyol looked a potentially tricky one for Barcelona. The previous day's Champions League semifinal draw had set up Josep Guardiola's emotional return to the Camp Nou with Bayern Munich in just 10 days' time. Saturday was also the first anniversary of the death of former Blaugrana coach Tito...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Brendan Rodgers' at Liverpool, Eden Hazard's status, 'Hotel Zlatan'

The ESPN FC team react to Eden Hazard winning the PFA Player of the Year award, where Alejandro Moreno still does not feel the Belgian international is yet one of the top five players in the world.
The ESPN FC team react to Chelsea's goalless draw with Arsenal, where Paul Mariner explains Jose Mourinho's side should've scored a few goals, but failed to convert their chances.

Football always inspires debate, and this weekend was no exception. Here are five burning questions on the ESPN FC radar.

Vote and comment below or on Twitter using the hashtag #FCtalkingpoints.

The Champions League semifinals are set, with Barcelona drawing Bayern Munich and Juventus matched up against holders Real Madrid. The fun begins May 5th and 6th.

Who will win this year's Champions League trophy?

Well, the weekend's worst-kept secret is out: Chelsea's Eden Hazard is the winner of the 2014-15 PFA Player of the Year award, fending off...

Barcelona have tough test vs. nothing-to-lose Espanyol in Catalan derby

The ESPN FC crew talk about the La Liga title race and believe neither team will falter this weekend.

While the exciting prospect of facing Bayern Munich in the Champions League semifinals on May 6th is likely set in the players' minds, Luis Enrique must ensure his team manages to protect themselves from the obvious hype and focus all their energy on achieving three points against Espanyol in La Liga on Saturday.

Barcelona are currently on a 12-match unbeaten streak, an impressive run which is a direct result of having become a much more solid defensive unit. The visible improvement that their attacking...

Champions League semifinalists lead the way in the Power Rankings

The ESPN FC crew discuss the latest power rankings which see PSG and Manchester United dropped, while FC Porto remain in the rankings despite their 6-1 second-leg loss to Bayern Munich.
The ESPN FC panel pick their favourites to win the Champions League.
The ESPN FC crew discuss their dream Champions League semifinal matchups ahead of Friday's draw.

The final four in the Champions League occupy the top four spots in the latest Power Rankings.

1. Barcelona (no change)

A pair of 2-0 wins kept Barcelona on track in La Liga and the Champions League. Lionel Messi scored his 400th goal for the club as Valencia were beaten before Andres Iniesta and Neymar inspired a semifinal place-clinching triumph over Paris Saint-Germain.

2. Bayern Munich (+3)

Pep Guardiola's men climb two places after an eye-catching win vs. Porto, which turned Champions League...