Barcelona traveled to Girona for the Catalan Derby on Sunday. They came away with a 2-0 win but it was by no means an easy one.
Nelson Semedo scored for Barcelona in the first ten minutes, popping up in the box to fire a powerful low drive. It gave Barcelona the perfect start. Girona played well though and went into half-time trailing by just one goal. Lionel Messi doubled up the lead halfway through the second half.
The win extended Barca's lead at the top of the table to five points. Meanwhile, Girona drops to 14th in the table and are just 4 points above the relegation zone.
Despite the two sides' contrasting fortunes in the league table, the contest was not a one-sided one. Girona gave their best shot and came up short by a small margin. It was an intense clash and here are the major talking points from the game.
#5 Questionable red card at a crucial time changed the game
Barcelona scored early through Semedo and were leading at the break. But despite the scoreline, Girona were right up there with their opponents. They were pressing high up the pitch and created a few chances of their own.
Girona started the second half brightly and threatened to breach Marc-Andre ter Stegen's goal. Portu and Cristhian Stuani were looking lively and the latter wasted a golden chance when he fired straight at the keeper. Things changed when Bernardo Espinosa received a second yellow card for a soft foul on Luis Suarez. The Girona players were angered at the decision, and rightly so.
The sending off was questionable and it changed the complexion of the game. Looking for the equalizer, Girona pressed high and Barca took advantage. Jordi Alba raced clear to set up the second goal, which effectively killed the game. If not for the red card decision, the final result could have been a different one.