With Barcelona and Espanyol having been founded in 1899 and 1900 respectively, their cross-city rivalry is a truly historic one which dates back over a century. Here are five things you may not know about the fixture.
- Barcelona have dominated this fixture
Since LaLiga was founded in 1929 – with both teams as founder members – these two sides have met on 195 occasions across all official competitions. Barcelona have won 115 of these contests (59%). Espanyol have won on 39 occasions, while they’ve finished honours even 41 times.
- The day Barcelona won the league title against Espanyol
Barcelona once won the LaLiga title in a Catalan derby against Espanyol. It was on the final matchday of the 1948/49 season and they earned a 2-1 victory at home, with César Rodríguez scoring both the Blaugrana goals, to edge them ahead of closest rivals Valencia in the final standings.
- The iconic ‘Tamudazo’
Several decades after that 1949 meeting, Espanyol gained some revenge as they denied Barcelona a LaLiga title with a dramatic 2-2 draw at the Camp Nou. Espanyol legend and captain Raul Tamudo stepped up in the dying minutes of their encounter on the penultimate day of the season to score a brace and cost Barcelona two crucial points. The five points Barcelona dropped against Espanyol that season – Frank Rijkaard’s side lost 3-1 in the reverse fixture earlier that season – cost them dearly as they went on to lose the league to Real Madrid on their head-to-head record.
- Espanyol hold the record for the biggest derby win in history.
Barcelona may have the better head-to-head record in this fixture in the 90 years since it was first played in LaLiga but it was actually Espanyol who recorded the biggest ever Barcelona derby win: a whopping 6-0 victory in April 1951.
- Ernesto Valverde has played for and coached both clubs
He may now be Barcelona boss but Ernesto Valverde had a particularly productive spell in charge at Espanyol too, between 2006 and 2008. He led Espanyol to the 2007 UEFA Cup final, where they dramatically lost on penalties to fellow LaLiga side Sevilla. As a player, he alaso played on both sides of the divide: at Espanyol from 1986 to 1988 and at Barcelona from 1988 to 1990. Valverde’s connection with Espanyol is so strong that Gate 89 at the RCDE Stadium still carries his name to this day.
Watch FC Barcelona vs RCD Espanyol this Saturday from 2:15AM AEDT on BeIN Sports.