La Liga: Neymar, Messi guide 10-man Barcelona to win
Neymar and Lionel Messi were on target as Barcelona produced a sensational first-half performance to take a huge step towards the La Liga title with a 2-0 win at Espanyol on Saturday
Madrid: Neymar and Lionel Messi were on target as Barcelona produced a sensational first-half performance to take a huge step towards the La Liga title with a 2-0 win at Espanyol on Saturday.
Barcelona's Neymar celebrates after scoring against Espanyol
The visitors dominated from the off and two goals in eight minutes sealed the win as Neymar and Messi rounded off excellent moves.
Barca were reduced to 10 men early in the second period as Jordi Alba was given his marching orders for taking his protestations towards referee Mateu Lahoz too far, but Luis Enrique's men held on comfortably and could have even added to their lead had Neymar not blazed a glorious chance over 25 minutes from time.
Lahoz balanced up the numbers on the field in stoppage time by remarkably also showing Hector Moreno two yellow cards in a matter of seconds for contesting a decision.
Victory takes Barca four points clear of Real Madrid at the top of the table with Los Blancos not in action until today when they travel to Celta Vigo. Barcelona's second goal took Messi, Neymar and Suarez's combined tally for the season to 97.
Xavi reaches milestone
Barca's fine day was rounded off when Xavi Hernandez replaced Iniesta for the final few minutes to make his 500th La Liga appearance.