Barcelona equalized in the 96th minute through Luuk de Jong to salvage a point in a 2-2 draw at the RCDE Stadium on Sunday night, extending Espanyol’s search for their first La Liga victory of the season.
Espanyol got off to a bad start as Pedri gave Barcelona the lead after just two minutes. However, Sergi Darder equalized in the 40th minute with an outstanding strike, and Raul de Tomas scored what appeared to be the game-winning goal in the 64th minute. Luuk de Jong, on the other hand, came up and scored a header with virtually the final kick of the game to shatter Espanyol’s hearts.
Barcelona must have thought this game would be easy from the start, as they scored on their first attack. Jordi Alba surged forward from left-back and crossed for Pedri, who was alone and had his extended effort kiss the post before going in.
However, Espanyol responded quickly, with Vicente Moreno’s team increasing their effort and making things more difficult for their bitter rivals.
Espanyol eventually drew level thanks to a brilliant strike from Sergi Darder five minutes before halftime. Raul de Tomas did a good job of bringing the ball down and then laying it off to Darder, who took a touch to his right before firing a shot into Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s far corner. The RCDE Stadium was suddenly rocking.
After a couple of harsh tackles by Yangel Herrera and Keidi Bare in the first half, Barcelona had to pull Ronald Araujo, who was replaced by Eric Garcia at halftime. The Catalan defender would then go on to have a terrible second half. half.
Xavi’s halftime charge seemed to work for Barcelona, as they began to generate more danger in the Espanyol half almost immediately. They felt they had retaken the lead in the 57th minute.
The Espanyol defense failed to clear Jordi Alba’s shot on the edge of the area, and the loose ball was latched onto in the box by Gavi, who made no mistake in blasting past Diego Lopez. The goal was disallowed, though, because the ball ricocheted off offside Frenkie de Jong before Gavi could get to it.
Espanyol took the lead seven minutes later. Darder collected the ball in midfield and swiftly looked up to lob a ball over the top of Eric Garcia to Raul de Tomas, who found himself one-on-one with Ter Stegen and showed wonderful calm to finish past the German goalkeeper.
Espanyol battened down the hatches in the closing stages of the game, but the drama that transpired in second-half stoppage time will be remembered for a long time.
Nico Melamed and Gerard Pique had an ulceration, resulting in both players being sent out, and then, with what was effectively the final kick of the game, Luuk de Jong headed home Adama Traore’s cross to earn Barcelona a point.
Barcelona is in fourth place, while Espanyol remains in thirteenth.