Barcelona continued their impressive run of form in the La Liga as they edged past Girona 1-0 at the Estadio Montilivi on Saturday night. Substitute Pedri scored the game’s solitary goal to give the Catalan giants huge three points. Xavi’s men were hardly at their best, but the result sees them go six points clear […]
Barcelona continued their impressive run of form in the La Liga as they edged past Girona 1-0 at the Estadio Montilivi on Saturday night.
Substitute Pedri scored the game’s solitary goal to give the Catalan giants huge three points.
Xavi’s men were hardly at their best, but the result sees them go six points clear of defending Champions Real Madrid in the league standings.
Barcelona had to deal without strike duo Robert Lewandowski and Ferran Torres, who were missing due to suspension.
Clash of the Catalans
It was billed to be a tough away clash for the Catalans as newly promoted Girona came into the game having lost just two of their last nine matches sitting 12th in the league.
Barcelona started better of the two teams dominating possession in the first twenty minutes before Girona settled down in front of their home fans.
French winger Ousmane Dembele had to be substituted in the 26th minute as he limped off the field grabbing his leg. Xavi will hope the injury isn’t too serious as Dembele has been in stunning form this season having scored 5 goals and grabbing 5 assists.
Neither teams could stomp their authority on the game with space being limited and the cold weather hardly helping the players to garner any sort of momentum. Barcelona, however, had a great chance to take the lead just before the half time but Girona keeper Paulo Gazzaniga saved Pedri’s tame effort from inside the box.
Breaking the deadlock
Fifteen minutes after the restart, Barcelona finally managed to break the deadlock after some wonderful interplay in the final third. Ansu Fati squared a ball to Jordi ball in the left flank who then sent it to the six-yard box with an inviting low cross.
Gazzaniga fluffed his lines in what should have been a routine grab and it was Pedri who slotted home into an empty net to give his side the lead.
Four minutes later Girona had the ball in the net, but the goal was disallowed as Arnau Martinez had clearly stepped into an offside position.
It was one way traffic in the last 20 minutes as the home side piled on the pressure in search of an equalizer.
The hosts would be disappointed not to have a penalty awarded as it appeared that Barcelona defender Eric Garcia had his arm wrapped around Cristhian Stuani’s waist following a corner in the 73rd minute.
Ivan Martin then inexplicably missed from just six yards out in the 86th minute as Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen was rooted to the spot. The Blaugrana held on for their third successive 1-0 win and have now won seven of their last eight La Liga matches keeping five clean sheets in the process.
Barcelona are currently on 47 points having played one more game than Real Madrid who host third placed Real Sociedad on Sunday evening.
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