Barca held by derby rivals

The Spaniard was jeered loudly by the Espanyol fans with every touch of the ball throughout the game in Cornella.

The point made it 22 games without defeat for table-toppers Barca in La Liga this season, a new club record.

And the Spaniard would have been proud of his goal, with Pique beaten by Garcia's cross following the Barcelona player's comments on Espanyol.

Barca coach Ernesto Valverde agreed that a point was a decent result given the state of the pitch by the end of the game.

However, Barcelona's 22nd game unbeaten broke their own club record and kept the possibility of a broken league record on track.

After the equaliser, Pique celebrated by putting a finger in front of his mouth, asking the crowd to be quiet.

Barca lost the first leg of their Copa del Rey quarter-final 1-0 as Espanyol ended their unbeaten run of 29 games in all competitions.

There were shoves and heated discussions throughout the match, which was played under steady rain and on a heavy pitch.

That did not go down well with Espanyol, who put in a complaint to the Spanish Football Federation, and Pique was the target of plenty of abuse from the stands as the battle lines were redrawn on Sunday.

Espanyol vs Barcelona predicted line-ups
Espanyol vs Barcelona predicted line-ups

There were also discussions in the tunnel to the changing rooms.

Valverde's opposite number Quique Sanchez Flores, meanwhile, believes Pique's celebration would not quieten the vociferous home support. "His gesture was what it was".

"They said similar things about Atletico and Real Madrid, grounds where very hostile atmospheres were expected, the same as the cup first leg against Espanyol".

As expected, Barcelona dominated possession from the start.

Leganes and Getafe could not manage more than a 0-0 draw in the derby between rivals based just south of Madrid.

The hosts hit the woodwork twice in four minutes at the start of the second half, Vitorino Antunes striking the post with a free-kick and Jorge Molina heading against the crossbar, but they could find no way through.

It was the fifth straight game without a loss for Leganes, which rested several regular starters ahead of its game at Sevilla in the Copa del Rey semifinals on Wednesday.

Dembele, 20, moved to Barcelona from Borussia Dortmund for €105 million (Dh480m) last summer but his first months have been hampered by injury.

Getafe, 10th in the standings, is unbeaten in four matches.

More news: IOC President Wishes Successful Winter Olympics in South Korea

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