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Girona 0-2 Barcelona: 3 reasons why Barca won | LaLiga 2018-19

SENIOR ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
2.36K   //    28 Jan 2019, 00:40 IST

Messi ensured Barcelona preserved their lead at the top
Messi ensured Barcelona preserved their lead at the top

Barcelona ran out 0-2 winners against Girona, in a keenly contested Catalan derby. The goals for the visitors came from Nelson Semedo and Lionel Messi as Barcelona restored their five-point advantage at the perch of the table.

Girona started the better of the two sides and looked accomplished on the ball in the early stages. However, they were stung by the first bit of quality Barcelona produced in the 9th minute.

After a clever switch of play, the ball fell kindly for Semedo in the box. The Portuguese made no mistake with a perfect swiveled left-footed shot into the bottom corner.

Barcelona though, couldn’t get into the ascendancy as Girona kept them honest throughout the first period.

However, in the 51st minute, the game took a turn for the worse for the home side as Bernardo Espinosa was given his marching orders.

After his dismissal, Barcelona looked much more assured and put the game to bed courtesy their talisman, Lionel Messi.

The visitors then controlled possession and ensured they didn’t let their lead slip. With Atletico Madrid winning yesterday, the onus was on Barcelona to respond, and they did so with aplomb. 

Thus, here is a look at three factors that contributed immensely towards their victory.


#3 Numerical advantage

Espinosa's red card changed the game completely
Espinosa's red card changed the game completely
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A Catalan derby is always a feisty encounter, and this was no different. The game had a good tempo throughout and the hosts look primed to surprise their illustrious neighbours with some sharp play.

In the first half, Girona mounted quick counter attacks and didn’t let the away side establish control in the middle of the park.

The home side even had several chances with one of their goal-bound efforts cleared off the line by Pique. Yet, after the harsh sending off of Bernardo Espinosa, the game meandered on an entirely different path. 

With an extra man on the pitch, Barcelona dominated the ball and rarely accorded Girona any time or space to make the difference.

Moreover, the centre back’s departure allowed the away side to get in behind the defence more often.

For about fifty minutes, Barcelona knew that they were in a contest. Yet, the contentious red card six minutes after the restart tilted the game firmly in the visitors’ favour.

Though Barcelona would be content with how they took their chances, Girona would surely be left ruing what could’ve been.

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