Valverde cautious as Dembele resumes Barca training

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde saw Espanyol end his side´s unbeaten run last month

Barcelona were made to pay for their waste of possession in the opening half when Espanyol took the lead in the 66 minute after Gerard Moreno headed home a cross from Sergio Garcia, 1-0.

The club play their matches in Cornella, a suburb of Barcelona, and so Pique seemingly suggested they are not city rivals to the Blaugrana.

Barcelona fans have been left sweating on the results of Gerard Pique's injury scan as the rest of his available teammates returned to training on Monday (5 February) to begin their preparations for the Copa del Rey second leg semi-final against Valencia on Thursday (8 February). The celebrate drew the irk of Espanyol fans but was defended by Barca captain Andres Iniesta who said things like this happen in a derby game.

The victory extends Barcelona's lead at top of the table to 12 points, pending the outcome of the game between scond-placed Atletico Madrid and Valencia later on Sunday. "That is disrespectful. Telling them to be quiet was the least I could do".

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde described the surface as "dangerous".

The hosts hadn't beaten Barcelona in the league in their last 17 attempts, but for a while it looked like that drought would end on Sunday after Gerard Moreno put Espanyol in front.

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Barcelona have now gone a club record 22 league games unbeaten, surpassing the total of 21 they managed under Pep Guardiola in the 2009-10 season. Cristian Stuani scored twice against a rival for whom the best news was the return to action of Yeray Alvarez after overcoming cancer for the second time and on World Cancer Day.

The Espanyol crowd was furious after Pique's celebration on Sunday.

If that wasn't enough, Messi provided a ideal set-piece delivery from the left-hand side to assist Pique, who enjoyed the goal more than most given how much abuse he'd received from the crowd.

ESPANYOL, LAST TEAM TO BEAT BARCELONA Espanyol have been the only side capable of beating Barcelona this season (if we don't count the Spanish Supercopa in August). Right after the goal, Moreno fouled the defender, prompting a heated altercation between players from both teams. Espanyol won the first leg 1-0 and then lost the second leg 2-0.

"Saying they play in Cornella is not disrespectful, it's a fact".

The two sides also met in the Copa Del Rey quarterfinals this season.

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