Spanish La Liga Report, Espanyol v Barcelona, 4 February 2018

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Gerard Moreno threatened a La Liga upset at a soggy RCDE Stadium when he opened the scoring midway through the second half with a header from Sergio Garcia's cross.

The defender was referring to the area of Barcelona where the club have played their home games since 2009 in an attempt, Espanyol believe, to discredit them.

Up ahead in midfield, we might see Valverde hand a rest to captain Andres Iniesta, with the veteran midfielder playing every single game lately.

Barca's lead at the top of La Liga remains at nine points after second-placed Atletico Madrid defeated Valencia 1-0 later on Sunday.

Pique scored a late equalizer in a 1-1 draw as the Spanish league leader narrowly avoided losing to its crosstown rival for the second time in less than three weeks.

After that match, Pique's tone when talking about Espanyol infuriated rival fans and prompted an official complaint by the club.

After the interval, Gerard Moreno scored a shock opener before Gerard Pique restored parity from Lionel Messi's assist.

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The five-time European champions also set a new club record of 22 matches unbeaten to start a league season on Sunday, and are still in the hunt for a La Liga, Copa del Rey and Champions League treble.

Granero won the ball in midfield before finding Garcia in space down the right, and after Lucas Digne failed to close him down, the veteran winger swung in the flawless cross beyond Pique for Moreno to stoop and head beneath Ter Stegen. Right after the goal, Moreno fouled the defender, prompting a heated altercation between players from both teams.

This season, above any other in his career, Gerard Pique has had to deal with the brunt of opposition supporter terrace ire.

'Pique will not be able to silence our fans, not our fans, this is not something we will concern ourselves with.

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"The players are the ones who best interpret what they have to do on the pitch".

Barcelona had to battle back from a 1-0 first-leg deficit to advance to the semifinals on a 2-1 aggregate, and it took a first step toward the final with a 1-0 win over Valencia in their first leg on Thursday. Marc-Andre ter Stegen will come back fresh in goal, after resting midweek in the Copa del Rey.

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