Barcelona extend LaLiga lead as Pedri scores on his 100th appearance

GERONA – Pedri’s third goal in his last four games earned Barcelona a vital 1-0 win away to Girona on Saturday as Xavi Hernandez’s side strengthened their grip at the top of the La Liga table.

The midfielder struck on the hour mark, slotting home his sixth goal of the season from close range after Paolo Gazzaniga had flicked on Jordi Alba’s pass.

Barca, who held off Girona’s late onslaught, temporarily moved six points clear of third-placed Real Madrid, who host Real Sociedad at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.

Jump to: Best/Worst Actors | Highlights and notable points Postgame Quotes | Key statistics future plans

quick reaction

1. Barca survive attacking absences to take points

The trip to a cold and windy Montilivi stadium was never going to be easy for Barca, but with 22-goal Mr. Robert Lewandowski and Fran Torres absent through suspension, their task was made more complicated. They then lost the in-form Ousmane Dembele to injury in the first half to avoid a goal threat against a Girona side who were happy to sit back and play on the counter-attack.

A stalemate looked possible in the first half and neither side was really close. Yann Cotto missed the home team’s best chance at the very beginning and Ansu Fati shot over Barca’s goal after a defensive error.

Xavi brought on Jordi Alba for Marcos Alonso at the break to make up for the lack of width on the left, and the change soon paid off. Alba had already had several good chances before his cross led to the opening goal. Frenkie De Jong also pushed him to help Ansu and Rafinha in attack and applied more pressure.

The goal forced Girona to play more on the front foot, but Barca – thanks to Ronald Araújo’s header from the line, some good saves from Jules Conde and a botched finish – wrapped up the game for their 14th clean sheet in 18 La Liga games. Season

Also Read :  World Cup 2022 USA vs. Netherlands start time, betting odds, lines: Expert picks, FIFA predictions, bets

2. Father “Potter” played a role in his 100th appearance

Pedri was not fit enough to start this game after knocking off Real Sociedad in midweek. However, Dembele’s injury and lack of attacking depth meant he was needed earlier than planned.

– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga and more (US)
– Read on ESPN+: Welcome to the age of the midfielder

So, at the age of 20, he played his 100th game for Barcelona. Xavi has asked him to get into more scoring opportunities and he is responding. His goal here was an example of being in the right place at the right time as he sealed Barca’s game-winner for the second weekend in a row. He also scored a single goal against Getafe last Sunday.

His performances have earned him the nickname “Father Potter” and as Montilloy went silent after his strike, it was all you could hear the radio commentators shouting.

3. Competitive Girona fell short

Girona drew with Madrid earlier this season but could not take a point from Barca. Despite a spirited display after falling behind, they were beaten by their Catalan rivals for the third time in a row at Montilvi LaLiga.

They will lament the missed opportunities late in the game. Evan Martin missed the best of them and Valeri scored in stoppage time. There was also an Araújo header off the line and a last-ditch save from Conde as the 13,500 home crowd roared their team on.

However, it was not to be, and Girona vs Barca in the Premier League remains meaningless. They have shown throughout the season that they should have more than enough to go up, although a four-point gap to the bottom three will be unsettling for late sacked manager Michel.

Also Read :  Costa Rica vs. Germany - Football Match Report - December 1, 2022

The best and worst actors

Best: Pedri, Barcelona

Game winner for the Catalan team for the second week in a row.

Best: Ronald Araujo, Barcelona

The Uruguayan’s speed of recovery helped Barca on several occasions and he was rock solid as Girona pressed late.

Best: Rodrigo Riquelme, Girona

The on-loan winger from Atletico Madrid caused a lot of problems with his difficult performances.

Worst: Ousmane Dembele, Barcelona

He started slowly and then had to leave the field due to injury. Given his form and importance, Barca will hope it’s nothing serious.

Worst: Paolo Gazzaniga, Girona

He could have done better when we gave the ball to a father for the goal.

Worst: Ivan Martin, Girona

Missed a glorious chance late on to grab a point.

Highlights and notable moments

Pedri came to Barca’s aid for the second La Liga game in a row.

After the game: managers and players talk

Barcelona head coach Xavi: We have to improve, above all by playing more in attack. Girona changed its style [sitting back] That caught us by surprise, but we controlled the ball and increased the pressure. We need to create more. In the final third, we should be calmer. “I’m happy with these three points, but we have to criticize ourselves and admit that there are situations where we need to improve.”

Xavi about Dembele’s injury: “I think it’s an injury. He felt something in his quadriceps. He’ll have tests but he’ll miss some games, we just hope. [he is out] “We wanted to open the floor with him today for as little time as possible, put him in one-on-one situations, and when he went on, we lost a real difference maker.”

Also Read :  Yaya Toure: Jude Bellingham’s game intelligence and passing are unbelievable

Xavi Roy PedriHe makes a difference to the way we play, getting between the lines, his finishing pass and if you add his assists and goals, we’re talking about one of the best in the world in his position. Sometimes he has to take more risks, but this is also true of Gavi, Frankie, Kesse.

Michel, head coach of Girona: We played really well. We tried hard and had three or four really good chances. Barça only had their own goal as a great opportunity. It’s a shame to lose, I can say it’s not a fair result. It was seen on the field.

This Barcelona team is very intense. Their pressing after losing the ball is very good, the best in the league. They push you, hold your back and don’t let you out. But I think we did well, kept their chances to a minimum and created our own. I am satisfied with the performance.”

Key Stats (provided by ESPN Stats & Information)

  • Pedri scored his 15th goal (all competitions) in his 100th game with Barcelona.

  • Pedri: Third goal in the last four games. That equals his total from the previous 23 games (all games).

  • It is the first time in 20 years that Barcelona have won three consecutive games 1-0 in all competitions.

Until next time

Barcelona: Barca will take on Real Betis in La Liga on Wednesday, February 1 (watch at 3pm ET on ESPN+). Then, Barcelona will host Sevilla on Sunday, February 5 (live on ESPN+ at 3pm ET).

Cairona: Blencure Mills It hosts Valencia on Sunday, Feb. 5 in La Liga (watch at 10:15 a.m. ET on ESPN+).


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Articles

Back to top button