Catalan derby decided by Alexis Sanchez strike
November 1, 2013 -- Updated 2255 GMT (0655 HKT)
Alexis Sanchez grabbed the crucial goal in Barcelona's 1-0 derby win over Espanyol.
- Barcelona beat Espanyol in Catalan derby
- Goal from Alexis Sanchez gives Barcelona 1-0 in in Nou Camp
- Borussia Dortmund thrash VfB Stuttgart 6-1
- Go two points clear of Bayern Munich ahead of weekend games
(CNN) -- Alexis Sanchez sealed Barcelona's victory in last weekend's El Clasico with an impudent goal and Friday gave them a hard won victory over Espanyol in the Catalan derby.
Sanchez struck in the 68th minute to break the deadlock in the Camp Nou and the 1-0 victory was Barca's 11th win out of 12 in La Liga.
He tapped in from close range after Brazilian star Neymar threaded a ball through the legs of two defenders to find his teammate, who netted his seventh league goal in the last nine games.
It was one of few clear cut chances for the reigning champions against obdurate opponents who occasionally offered a threat in attack.
The visitors had the best chance of the first half when Victor Sanchez was sent through and his goalward bound effort was only denied by the flailing leg of Victor Valdes in the home goal.
Read: Bale on the mark as Real hit seven
Lionel Messi's messy tax scandal
Honeymoon over for Gareth Bale, Madrid
Summer signing Neymar nearly opened the scoring midway through the second half when his curling shot went just wide but ever a threat, his assist on the goal proved the crucial moment.
By contrast, Lionel Messi had another quiet game by his standards and has now gone four straight without scoring.
Even with this comparative drought, Barcelona have forged four points clear of Atletico Madrid, who have a game in hand, and nine in front of Real Madrid, beaten 2-0 last Saturday.
All three table toppers enjoyed midweek wins in a hectic period in the Spanish championship, with Atletico and Real looking to close the gap on the leaders in their 12th round matches this weekend.
In the Bundesliga, Borussia Dortmund took over at the head of affairs from Bayern Munich after a thumping 6-1 beating of VfB Stuttgart Friday night.
Stuttgart had been unbeaten in seven league matches and took the lead through Tunisian defender Karim Haggui.
Read: Roma set Serie A record with 10th win
But their joy was to prove short lived as Greek international Sokratis Papastathopoulos drew Dortmund level before Marco Reus's 22nd minute effort put them ahead.
Polish scoring machine Robert Lewandowski hit a second half hat-trick with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang adding the other.
It left Juergen Klopp's men two points clear of champions Bayern, who play at Hoffenheim Saturday.
Reigning French Ligue 1 champion Paris Saint Germain stretched their unbeaten run in the league to 23 games with a 4-0 defeat of Lorient.
Goals from Lucas, Jeremy Menez and two from Edison Cavani left Laurent Blanc's men three points clear of Monaco, who play at Lille Sunday.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1123 GMT (1923 HKT)
After 20 years, more than 300 goals and a host of major honors, Thierry Henry has called time on his glittering football career.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1014 GMT (1814 HKT)
They do things differently at Sociedad Deportiva Eibar, up in the mist-cloaked valleys of the Basque country. And it is working.
December 10, 2014 -- Updated 1353 GMT (2153 HKT)
He might be struggling to score goals for Liverpool, but Mario Balotelli's cheeky tweet about the British monarch hit the spot during the World Cup.
October 28, 2014 -- Updated 1253 GMT (2053 HKT)
They splash the cash on the world's best players, now Real Madrid are giving the Bernabeu the same treatment with a bling makeover.
October 27, 2014 -- Updated 1309 GMT (2109 HKT)
Football world mourns South African captain Senzo Meyiwa who was shot and killed during a botched robbery in a township near Johannesburg.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1348 GMT (2148 HKT)
From the ancient ruins of Rome, a new empire rises. But the eyes of the city's newest gladiator light up at thoughts of the Colosseum.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1622 GMT (0022 HKT)
Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
October 17, 2014 -- Updated 1411 GMT (2211 HKT)
One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
October 18, 2014 -- Updated 1819 GMT (0219 HKT)
Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1247 GMT (2047 HKT)
After 10 years of golden glory, it's easy to see how Lionel Messi has taken his place among the football gods.
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1034 GMT (1834 HKT)
When will the tears stop? A leading Italian football club is pursuing a new direction -- under the guidance of its new Indonesian owner.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 2241 GMT (0641 HKT)
Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.
October 10, 2014 -- Updated 1310 GMT (2110 HKT)
After revolutionizing cricket with its glitzy Twenty20 league, India has now thrown large sums of money at a new football venture.
October 2, 2014 -- Updated 1453 GMT (2253 HKT)
Get ruthless. That is Rio Ferdinand's message to soccer's authorities in the fight to tackle the scourge of racism.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1328 GMT (2128 HKT)
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is being sought by Europe's top clubs.