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Barcelona 2-2 Girona: 5 Talking Points, LaLiga 2018/19

FC Barcelona v Girona FC - La Liga
Messi opened the scoring for Barcelona
Parth Athale
ANALYST
Modified 24 Sep 2018, 18:22 IST
Top 5 / Top 10
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Barcelona dropped their first points of the season as they had to settle for a point against Girona at the Camp Nou.

Lionel Messi predictably opened the scoring for the home side after 19 minutes and it looked as if a routine win was on the cards. But Clement Lenglet was sent off for elbowing in the 35th minute and Girona scored thereafter through Cristhian Stuani to level the game.

Stuani scored again after the interval, but Barca responded when Gerard Pique leveled the game with a headed goal. Despite some late pressure by Barcelona, the game finished 2-2 to still leave the Catalan giants at the top of the table.

Here are five major talking points from the game.

#5 First league start for Arthur neither here nor there

FC Barcelona v Girona FC - La Liga
Arthur had a mixed performance

Barcelona recruited Arthur from Gremio in the summer for £35 million and he is one for the future with not many expecting an instant impact. Valverde rested the likes of Coutinho and Rakitic and handed Arthur his first league start against Girona.

He looked really comfortable on the ball and showed great composure. The Brazilian circulated possession really well and it looked as if he was with Barca for years.

But most of his passes were sideways, with negligible attacking penetration coming from him. Arguably he was dropping too deep and eating into Busquets' space. He also gave the ball away cheaply a couple of times, due to some laziness while in possession.

His replacement Coutinho immediately livened up the game and it seems as though his compatriot will keep the starting berth for now. But the promise is there in Arthur and further development could see him take the midfield mantle on at the Camp Nou.

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Published 24 Sep 2018, 03:15 IST
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