Marcos Alonso’s early header put Barcelona on track to extend their home winning run over Espanyol to 14 years before a controversial late spot kick from Joselu levelled the contest.
A draw for Espanyol means they have picked up a first positive result at Barcelona since 2009, and Xavi admitted he was frustrated at his side’s lack of effectiveness on their return to action after the 2022 World Cup.
Both players were dismissed for second bookings and Sergi Roberto hinted Alba forgot about his earlier caution from Lahoz.
“Alba had forgotten his first card. I don’t know what he said to get him expelled by the referee”, as per reports from Movistar, covered via Diario AS.
“We have all been a little surprised. In the second half we wanted to go for the second goal and to have the game more controlled.”
Barcelona could appeal against Alba’s expulsion, but as it stands, he will serve a one game ban and miss the crunch trip to Atletico Madrid on January 8.
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