FC Barcelona have lost the top game. Barça were too careless in defense in their 4-2 defeat and are now seven points behind their opponents and new leaders Girona
Both teams must have been happy on the sofa on Saturday: Rivals Real Madrid slipped up at Betis Sevilla (1:1). This gave Girona the chance to jump to the top of the table in the top match. Barça, meanwhile, wanted to close the gap to the Madrilenians to two points.
Accordingly, a fast-paced game developed right from the start, in which the visitors took an early lead. Christensen made a serious mistake with a pin pass to Tsygankov, who set up Dovbyk to score (11′) – the two Ukrainians, like the other nine starting players, had returned to the starting line-up after the 5-2 defeat at CF Orihuela in the second round of the Spanish Cup.
Lewandowski counters Dovbyk
The home side, who had the same Xavi side as in the 1-0 win over Atletico, were unfazed by the deficit and responded immediately through Lewandowski (19′). However, Barça pulled back after the equalizer and were suddenly careless in defence, forcing Inaki Pena to beat Miguel to prevent them from going behind again (27′).
On the other hand, Barça remained dangerous in attack: after just over half an hour, Joao Felix and Joao Cancelo showed their class, but the latter only shot at Gazzaniga (31′). Miguel, who had missed his second opportunity shortly before (39′), did better with the pike – the winger hardly had any resistance (40′). Because Lewandowski missed the equalizer after fine work by Pedri (45.+3), Girona took the 2:1 into the dressing room
Goalkeeper Gazzaniga makes it 3:1
After the restart, there were not many more chances. The hosts raced against the visitors’ tight defense and mostly allowed the ball to circulate until a player took a shot from distance – Gündogan often looked for the finish. This was also the case in the 68th minute, when he missed after being played in by substitute Ferran Torres.
Girona, on the other hand, hardly made any dangerous pinpricks until the final stages. Nevertheless, the Blanquivermells scored the next goal. Stuani extended a kick to Valery, who left Koundé standing and slotted home (80′) – the start of a wild final phase. While Savio (82′) and Solis (89′) missed the 4:1 at one end, Fermin shot over with a bicycle kick at the other (88′).
Girona move seven points clear of Barcelona
Gündogan then proved to be more ruthless than his young teammate, cleverly putting his body in the box and scoring the equalizer (90.+2) – the goal sparked hope among the home fans, who became louder again. They almost had the chance to celebrate the equalizer, but Lewandowski headed over to the right (90.+3). Two minutes later, Stuani scored the final goal from close range at the other end.
The 4-2 win saw Girona leapfrog Real at the top of the table and move seven points clear of fourth-placed FCB
Barça are back in action next Wednesday, when they face Antwerp in their final CL group game at 9pm. Girona face Alaves on Monday, December 21 (9pm).