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Barcelona BCN
2
Lewandowski 18',Gündogan 91'
Girona GIR
4
Dovbyk 11',Miguel Gutierrez 39',Valery Fernández 79',Stuani 94'
Finished

Barcelona - Girona summary: score, goals & highlights | LaLiga EA Sports

Update:
Girona ended match day 16 top of LaLiga as they beat Barcelona 2-4 at Montjuïc.

Barcelona - Girona: as it happened

Full-time thoughts:

Are we allowed to say it? I think so: Girona could win LaLiga this season.

The side grew into the game and recorded an historic result, putting four goals past Barcelona at Montjuïc and they will deservedly go to sleep tonight - if they can sleep - top of the table.

The first half was a slug-fest, with both sides trading blows throughout. The away side opened the scoring with Dovbyk tapping in after Yan Couto's defence-splitting pass, but Lewandowski's header soon levelled things up on the scoreboard.

And it was Girona who went into the break ahead thanks to a wonder strike from Miguel.

The second half was where the madness ensued: with Barcelona looking for the equaliser, Girona found space around their back line and Valery extended their lead late on after a poor defensive showing from Xavi's side.

To be honest, I wasn't sure what Barcelona's plan was after the changes, with Xavi throwing all his cards up in the air at once on the hour mark.

Gundogan gave Barcelona hope in added time but Stuani stunned Montjuïc with a late goal as the home side fell asleep right at the last second!

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That's all, folks!

Thanks for following along with the game today, I hope you have a nice end to your weekend!

Joe

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Here's the Sofascore summary:

Look at that xG!

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Post-game interview:

We're very happy, we played against a great team. It was a game of details. 

They pushed us back but we countered well and got the 1-3.

We were good with the ball in the second half, but they could have damaged us and it was an even game. 

We're very happy, it's the first time we have beaten Barcelona. I don't know if it's deserved, but it was a great game.

At times the players' legs weren't working, Barcelona pushed us. We had to be defensive at times but we did it.

They just beat Atlético Madrid, we knew it would be tough. At times we couldn't get the ball from them but the team has a soul and we believe we can hurt our opponents. 

Míchel, Girona manager

They are the best team I've seen this season.

It was an even game, if Barcelona would have won you'd have said it would have been a fair result.

They punished us at the back and were more effective. This is what Girona do, they battle and have difficult players to deal with.

We dominated, especially in the first half. But it was a chaotic game.

We had 30 shots, we have to be effective. 

It's a tough defeat for us, we really wanted to win and close the gap. This is a Barcelona team under construction, you take one step back to take two forward.

We did well today but they are an extraordinary team. We have to keep going. It's a terrible result.

Xavi, Barcelona manager

How the table looks:

After 16 games played, Girona are top of LaLiga by 2 points.

Barcelona, with that loss, are now 7 from the top and are back level with Atlético Madrid, on 34 points.

Real Madrid sit second on 39 points and will be frustrated not to have ended up with more than a draw at Betis yesterday.

But Girona are the real story, with Míchel doing a stunning job with the side who have played fantastic football all season long!

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Frenkie de Jong post-game:

Girona played well but we weren't good.

We are 7 points off, which is a lot. There's time but we have to be a lot better.

We are very disappointed. We have to work harder.

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Girona beat Barcelona and are top of LaLiga!

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90+8

FULL-TIME!!!

WHAT A WIN FOR GIRONA WHO ARE TOP OF LALIGA!

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90+7

We're into minute seven...

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The long free-kick is played to Miguel who lays off to Savinho.

The ball is crossed to the far post where Barcelona are caught sleeping and Stuani taps in from a yard out!

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Barcelona have crumbled! Stuani has won the game!!!

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90+5

GGGGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLL

GIROOOOOOOOOONNNAAAAAA

STUUAAANIII

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90+5

Girona win a free-kick on halfway after Portu is brought down by Cancelo.

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90+4

90 seconds to go... Barcelona are throwing everything at the tired Girona defence.

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90+3

CHANCE FOR BARCELONA

Lewandowski heads just wide from close range!

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90+3

Back underway and the noise is back in the stadium!

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The ball is played down the right before being send into the middle of the box. The German spins on the ball and sends a shot past Gazzaniga at the far post!

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CAN THEY DO IT???

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90+2

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLL

GUNDOGAN GETS ONE BACK

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90+2

Poor Gazzaniga can't decide where to take his goal kick from...

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90

5 added minutes.

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90

CHANCE FOR GIRONA

It was nearly number four!

Barça crumble and allow Solís in behind but his shot is sent over the bar!

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90

Girona are playing swashbuckling football in Barcelona's defensive third as we enter the final minute.

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88

CHANCE FOR BARCELONA

Fermín goes for the spectacular and smashes an overhead kick over the bar from close range!

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88

I can only hear the Girona fans inside Montjuïc right now. 

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GIR

Jhon Solís ON

Iván Martín OFF

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86

CHANCE FOR BARCELONA

Gundogan connects with Lamine Yamal's cross from the right and the ball spins just over the bar!

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85

Barcelona push forward and are looking for a way in, but Girona are holding strong in their defensive block.

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84

CHANCE FOR GIRONA

Iñaki Peña saves Savinho's effort from close range... with his face!

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83

We're back underway and thestadium is silent.

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It's delightfully simple from Girona: a long ball from the goalkeeper is not met by Araujo.

Stuani heads down to his left, where Valery is all alone and he smashes a low drive past Iñaki Peña into the bottom right corner!

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80

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

GIRONA HAVE SCORED A THIRD

VALERYYYYYYYY

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FCB

Fermín López ON

Pedri OFF

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79

As you might expect, Girona are in no rush to get things going again after a few silly Barça challenges give them time to catch their breath. 

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Just over ten to go!

I think the away side needed those changes, as there looks to be plenty of tired legs out there right now...

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GIR

Portu & Valery ON

Tsygankov & Yan Couto OFF

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78

Míchel is furious on the sideline as Girona make a number of simple mistakes. Tiredness is hitting the away side.

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76

Gazzaniga gets down low to stop Gundigan's weak shot from the edge of the box. Another poor attempt at finding the goal from the home side.

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74

Stuani comes on and immediately gets pulled up for a very dubious foul on Cancelo, who is doing the 'am I bleeding?' gesture.

Looked like a shoulder barge to me...

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GIR

Stuani ON

Dovbyk OFF

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73

Savinho overruns the ball after being let loose down the left and is forced back. He turns around and hoofs a poor cross out of the other end of the pitch.

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71

The home fans become audibly impatient as Girona pop the ball around the edge of the Barcelona box. The defence, just as they did in the first half, stand off and allow the team in white to pull of various flicks and tricks close to goal.

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71

Twenty minutes to go...

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70

Chances come and go in a flash for the home side as Lamine Yamal finds Ferran at the back post.

The winger plays square to Gundogan... who lays off for Pedri.. who plays to Lewandowski... why won't anyone shoot?

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68

CHANCE FOR BARCELONA

Ferran does well to put a good ball in from the left and it lands with Gundogan, who spins on a sixpence and curls a shot just wide of the far post!

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67

GUNDOGAN FIRES OVER

The German tries to surprise Gazzaniga and goes for goal from the tight angle, sending his shot spinning over the bar.

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67

Barcelona win a free kick on the left, close to the corner flag. Ferran was taken down by Yan Couto as he tried to enter the box.

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66

Right now it's Balde who is playing at centre-back alongside Araujo.

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Three changes from Xavi...

Well, Xavi's certainly mixing things up! Let's see how those changes affect the game.

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FCB

Balde, Lamine Yamal & Ferran ON

Christensen, Raphinha & João Félix OFF

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64

CHANCE FOR BARCELONA

Who needs a mask?

Araujo leaps high into the air and thumps Pedri's cross over the bar from close range!

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63

CHANCE FOR GIRONA

Another wasted one: this time it's Savinho who gets the ball down the left but he wants to score the goal of season and tries to duck and dive through challenges instead of shooting from inside the box. Eventually Barça stick a leg in and clear away.

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62

SAVE FROM IÑAKI PEÑA

The cross from Yan Couto is dangerous and the goalkeeper is forced off his line to get in front of the ball and push it away from goal!

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62

Barcelona have just dropped off slightly and are allowing their opponents more time and space on the ball in advanced areas...

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61

Yan Couto wastes a great opportunity to put the ball into the box. He takes a poor touch that forces him to stop down the right and bends an effort towards goal with his left that sails way over the bar.

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60

CHANCE FOR GIRONA

Miguel gets down the left and plays across towards Tsygankov, who watches his shot go wide. 

The linesman raises his flag once the ball is out of play.

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59

CHANCE FOR BARCELONA

Raphinha gets in behind the Girona defence and looks to be away, but the ball gets stuck under his feet and the away side race back to crowd out the chance!

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58

Barcelona are finding space on the edge of the box and this time it's Raphinha who tests Gazzaniga, firing another low strike towards the far post that's calmly saved.

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57

Gundogan finds a yard outside the area and sends a low effort towards goal that the Girona goalkeeper sweeps up easily.

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55

Gundogan goes to ground on the edge of the box but the referee wags his finger at the German in response.

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54

Kounde's ball in from the right is nicely placed and lands on Raphinha'shead but the shot is misdirected and easily caught by Gazzaniga.

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53

RAPHINHA FIRES OVER

The ex-Leeds winger lifts the ball over the wall but it is always rising as it flies over Gazzaniga in the Girona goal.

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Raphinha, Lewandowski and Gundogan are over the ball, which is right where the 'D' meets the box on the left...

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51

CHANCE FOR BARCELONA

The home side come at Girona's goal and De Jong sees his low shot saved well. 

Barça attack again and Eric takes down Lewandowski on the edge of the box. 

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51

Gazzaniga opens the Book of Dark Arts, takes a look at page 1 and goes to ground after clearing the ball.

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50

Girona have had around 90% of the ball since the restart, with Barcelona forced to chase them around the Montjuïc pitch.

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Balde is warming up in case Kounde can't continue. For now, he looks OK but he hit the deck hard after jumping and landed on his back.

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48

A chorus of boos and whistles fills the air as the referee gets in the way of Andreas Christensen.

Hold on, it looks like Kounde is injured...

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47

Kounde brings down Savinho on halfway as Girona launch a counter attack. Xavi certainly told his side to be more aggressive in defensive transition moments.

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46

Lewandowski is shoved over in the box and the Barça fans want a penalty. Referee says 'no, señor'.

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46

Second half underway!

Girona get us going from left to right.

No changes for either side at the break.

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Ready to go!

The players are back in the tunnel, ready for the second half. Let's see if there are any changes.

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It's been a furious battle between the two

Two LaLiga heavyweight fighters are truly going head to head at Montjuïc!

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Half-time thoughts:

In the end, it's been a fantastic half that is as evenly poised as a pebble balancing on a pin prick.

I thought it took Girona a while to settle, with Barcelona dominating possession and causing mayhem in the press that saw the away side tie themselves in knots for the first 15 minutes.

But then, out of nowhere, we saw their talent unleashed and a fantastic ball from Yan Couto sliced Barcelona open like a watermelon, leaving Tsygankov and Dovbyk all the time in the world to work the ball into the back of the net.

After that, Barcelona continued their onslaught, charging back at Girona and it wasn't long before they were level with a Lewandowski header from a corner.

The equaliser seemed to wake Girona up, and the away side began to push back, creating a number of chances as Barcelona forgot how to defend. Eventually, Miguel Gutiérrez made them pay with a sensational strike as Barcelona backed off and backed off. 

Girona are ahead and as it stands, top of the league, but there is still plenty to go!

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Half-time!

GOALSDovbyk 12', Lewandowski 19' , Miguel G 40'

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45+3

Half-time!

What a fantastic first half we've had at Montjuïc!

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45+3

CHANCE FOR BARCELONA

Lewandowski gets on Pedri's chipped pass but the angle is tight on the left and Gazzaniga pushes it out for a corner.

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45+2

Savinho drives inwards on the edge of the box and looks to find Dovbyk, but Gundogan cuts out at the last second.

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45+1

Girona's passing triangles are fully out for us all to enjoy and they are bending spacetime with their link-up play; Barcelona's heads are spinning on the Montjuïc pitch.

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45

3 added minutes.

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44

Girona are beating Barcelona in every individual battle past the halfway line, which is causing every player on the home side to rush their passes and make mistakes. 

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43

Back underway and the fans inside the stadium are in shock.

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Wow! Miguel is, once again, allowed to take the ball on his own as he drives towards goal down the left. He takes one touch to set himself up and smashes a rocket into the top left corner of the goal!

It's a fantastic strike but it's shocking defending from Barcelona.

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MIGUEL GUTIÉRREZ

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40

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

WHAT A GOAL FROM GIRONA

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39

HUGE CHANCE FOR GIRONA

My, oh my. Girona are given time and space to pass in and around Barcelona's box. Savinho finds Miguel with ease on the penalty spot and a total of 0 Barcelona players try to take the ball from him.

The full-back takes a touch, shapes his body, has a cup of tea and fires a low shot past the far post!

What a let off for Xavi's side!

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HUGE UPDATE:

Ronald Araujo has removed the mask!

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36

CHANCE FOR BARCELONA

Raphinha beats Miguel and is through and away but a wobbly touch sees the ball roll away from him and Girona get back to clear.

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35

Every time Dovbyk gets the ball in Barcelona's defensive half, you can feel the air get sucked out of stadium in fright. He's like a runaway Viking, pushing and shoving and winning every single individual battle going.

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34

Barcelona have Girona pinned back and are popping passes around the edge of the box, looking for a way in like an 18th century jailer searching through his huge ring of keys attached to his belt.

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32

CHANCE FOR GIRONA

I'm not making this up, it's pure madness. The away side counter and Dovbky almost gets his huge head on the ball that is floated in from the right, with Kounde saving the day!

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31

SAVE FROM GAZZANIGA

Cancelo got in behind the defence, skipped past Yan Couto and fired a shot from a tight angle at the outstretched arm of Gazzaniga!

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30

Half an hour gone and the game is as finely poised as it has been at any stage so far. Barcelona, while dominating the ball, know very well that Girona have the ability to beat them on the counter attack. 

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28

YanCouto gets in behind João Cancelo but the flag is raised as the pink-haired wide man was slightly offside.

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27

HUGE CHANCE FOR GIRONA

Miguel and Dovbyk link up beautifully as the full-back gets inside the box and fires a shot across goal that is tipped by Iñaki Peña and flies past the far post!

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25

Girona have just seen a little bit more of the ball over the past couple of minutes as the flicks and passing triangles come out to play. The cogs are turning...

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Just a thought...

The two biggest chances that Girona have had, one of them ending in a goal, have come directly after I said they're not playing very well tonight. Shall I keep quiet?

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24

CHANCE FOR GIRONA

Dobvyk heads wide after Savinho crosses in from the left. It was a weak effort that didn't cause Iñaki Peña's heart rate to rise.

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22

Míchel is far from being a happy bunny rabbit on the touchline and is going absolutely wild at Girona's inability to do anything with the ball.

Barcelona have them in a chicken pen and they're not letting them out.

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21

CHANCE FOR BARCELONA

Raphinha goes up against his opposite number, takes one touch inside and drives a low shot just past the near post.

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20

Back underway. A fantastic response from the home side.

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Raphinha's corner was perfectly met by the Polish forward and he thundered a header into the back of the net!

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LEWANDOWSKI

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19

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLL

BARCELONA DRAW LEVEL

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18

CHANCE FOR BARCELONA

Gazzaniga pulls off a fantastic save after a close-range effort from Raphinha! 

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17

Barcelona are still having all the possession in the first two thirds of the pitch, with Girona happy to sit off until they arrive 40 yards out or so. 

I've just seen Xavi's face on the touchline and the cliché of 'he looks like he's left the oven on at home' doesn't do it justice.

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What I said about Girona not being able to settle into the game... let's forget that. But I won't delete the message, I stand by it!

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15

We're back underway and Barcelona go on the offensive, with João Félix seeing his shot from the right blocked out for a corner.

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A long, low ball from Yan Couto is sliced through two lines of Barcelona pressure and perfectly finds Tsygankov on the right side. He slides a cross towards Dovbyk who smashes a low drive off the left post and into the goal at Montjuïc!

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DOVBYK

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12

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLL

GIRONA SCORE

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10

Lewandowski almost gets on the end of João Félix's sly pass behind the Girona defence but Gazzaniga steps out well to collect the ball. It's all Barcelona so far as the away side can't quite settle into the game.

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9

Aleix García clears as Girona make another mistake. This time it's Blind at the back who tries an ambitious pass out from the back that's well challenged by Raphinha. 

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7

Míchel asks his side to calm down as Girona are forced into clearing a dangerous ball played across their box from right to left. Barcelona are pressing high and finding room to attack.

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6

I can't keep up! Barcelona come this time and Gazzaniga gets up in the air well to catch a cross that was aimed towards Lewandowski. 

It's been a frantic start to the game so far!

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5

Eric García, on Girona's right, steps up perfectly well to stop a pass from deep finding João Félix behind the away defence.

Girona counter and Tsygankov smacks an effort at Iñaki Peña from distance.

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3

CHANCE FOR BARCELONA

A very, very nervy moment for Girona as the ball is slipped through to João who can't take it round Gazzaniga.

Miguel tries to clear but falls over the ball, leaving his teammates to clear in a last-gasp attempt to stop Barcelona smashing in from close range.

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2

CHANCE FOR GIRONA

Dovbyk receives the ball from Tsygankov and goes 1vs1 against Araujo down the left side before seeing his shot deflected out for a corner.

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1

It's how we expected from Míchel's side, with López, Blind and Eric in the back line.

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And we're off!

The home side get us going.

Barça are in their home strip; Girona are in white shirts, white shorts and sky blue socks.

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A tricky question!

Real Madrid fans, who do you want to win today?

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Here come the players!

The two teams are out on the pitch!

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A reminder of the table...

Here's how things look ahead of kick-off.

- A win for Barcelona and they close the gap on the top 2

- A win for Girona and they go to bed tonight as league leaders

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"Be aggressive, with and without the ball" - Míchel's message to his players from the dressing room.

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Tick, tock, tick, tock...

The substitutes and various technical staff members are piling out of the tunnel which means the players are on their way!

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Less than 10 to go for your predictions!

Have your say on Twitter as to who you think will take the points in the Catalan derby!

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A reminder of the starting XIs:

FC BARCELONA [4-3-3]:

GK: Iñaki Peña

DEF: Kounde - Araujo - Christensen - Cancelo

MID: De Jong - Gundogan - Pedri

ATT: Raphinha - Lewandowski - João Félix

Manager: Xavi Hernández

 

GIRONA [3-4-3]:

GK: Gazzaniga

DEF: Blind - David López - Eric

MID: Yan Couto - Aleix - Iván Martín - Miguel

ATT: Savinho - Dovbyk - Tsygankov

Manager: Míchel

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Countdown to kick-off!

The atmosphere is building as both teams are out on the pitch for their pre-match warmup routines ahead of kick-off.

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Xavi to Spanish TV:

It's going to be a tough and intense game, they are great at switching things up.

We have predicted how we think they'll play - what we couldn't predict was to be four points behind them!

It will be a great game, we both want the ball and are both offensive. 

I hope it goes our way and we see the same version of Barça we've seen recently.

They are a direct rival and this result is very important. 

They have so much variance; they normally press high but we are prepared.

Xavi, Barcelona manager

Iñaki Peña between the sticks once again

The goalkeeper has stepped out onto the pitch to a huge cheer at Montjuïc!

Peña has been in fantastic form and has really showed his talent since slotting into the humungous gap left by Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.

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Girona arrive at Montjuïc!

The nearly-league leaders have arrived at the stadium ahead of kick-off!

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A quick reminder!

Remember, if you want to watch the game as you do your festive shopping then you can get it for free with a FuboTV trial.

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Why is Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo wearing a mask in the LaLiga game against Girona?

The Uruguayan suffered afractured jaw in the game against Atlético Madrid.

The challenge during the game saw him fall to the floor, but the tough nut was hard to crack, and he cracked on with the game. Tests carried out post-match revealed that the defender had actually suffered a facial fracture, which is why Araujo’s looking like he’s late for the Barça halloween party.

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Xavi goes with the same starting XI for the third game in a row

It seems as though the Catalan coach has finally found his preferred starting XI, with the boss sticking with the same starting team for the third game in a row.

Barcelona, against Porto, entered into a fantastically difficult run of games in which their Champions League and LaLiga prospects were (and still are) on the line.

So far, they've done well, beating both the Portuguese side and Atlético Madrid, their title rivals, but this game, against the Catalans, is arguably their biggest test so far...

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Xavi pre-match press conference highlights:

Girona are surprising a lot of people. But we aren't surprised at all to see them joint top of the table. They play really well.

Xavi, Barcelona manager

Míchel is a great coach and their system has a lot in common with our own. We have a difficult opponent to face, whose confidence is sky-high.

Xavi, Barcelona manager

They'll make it hard for us, but we won't change our approach, we'll be valiant and will take the game to them.

Xavi, Barcelona manager

We are in fine form and we need to keep that good football going. It's really boosted our morale and confidence. We had two huge games to play and tomorrow is another, once again against a direct rival.

Xavi, Barcelona manager

We are fully confident in what we've got. and we're also highly optimistic about Mark [Ter Stegen's] recovery. We have faith in Iñaki Peña and the other keepers we have here. We won't be signing anyone for that position.

Xavi, Barcelona manager

Get involved!

Check out our Twitter poll and have your say on who you think is going to win the game today. If you're feeling particularly daring, you could give us a score prediction and see your tweet appear on the live feed!

Or just come and say hello!

@English_AS / @j4brennan

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Real Betis draw 1-1 against Real Madrid in LaLiga: key moments and post-match analysis

A point for Girona would put them joint top of LaLiga today and a win would see them move ahead of Real Madrid.

Los Blancos drew 1-1 with Real Betis yesterday at the Estadio Benito Villamarín in what was a frantic game from start to finish.

I did a quick video summary of how that game went and looking back, I was very excitable.

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Girona starting XI revealed!

Gazzaniga is in goal with DavidLópez, Blind and Eric in front of him. 

YanCouto and Miguel are in the wide positions, with AleixGarcía and Iván Martín in the middle of the park.

It's the typical front three of Dovbyk, Savinho and Tsygankov up top.

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Barça team news in!

It looks like Xavi's preferred starting XI, given the injuries.

IñakiPeña starts behind a defence of Koundé, Araujo, Christensen and Cancelo.

The midfield trio are Pedri, Gundogan and FrenkiedeJong.

Up top we have JoãoFélix, Lewandowski and Raphinha.

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84 tarjetas amarillas y 2 tarjetas rojas directas

PEPE ANDRES / DIARIO AS

Who's the ref?

Isidro Díaz de Mera Escuderos is the man with the whistle today and would you believe it, Barcelona fans aren’t happy about it. The official was in charge of the game against Rayo Vallecano which Barcelona fans believe was poorly refereed by the 34-year-old.

He has been a top division referee since 2020 and is one of LaLiga’s newest additions to the league. Before being promoted, he had 4 seasons in Spain’s second division.

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Barça finding form once again...

The blaugrana appear to have turned a corner in terms of results and it looks like Xavi has shaken off the criticism that seemed to follow him round like a pesky ghoul.

Today is another chance to stamp their authority on the league and show everyone that they can still be as good as the side that won LaLiga last season.

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Barcelona - Girona: predicted starting XIs and team news for LaLiga match day 16

Both Xavi and Míchel have had various injury woes to deal with, so here's the latest update on the team news as well as how we think both managers will set their teams up for the Catalan derby.

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Barça's dressing room is ready!

The Barcelona dressing room is ready for action! We've not got the team news as of yet, but as soon as we have it I'll let you know.

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Barcelona - Girona: times, how to watch on TV, stream online | LaLiga

Want to watch the game slyly while you do your festive shopping? Well, you’re in luck. You can watch the game for free with a free trial of Fubo TV.

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19/11/23 FUTBOL FEMENINO
PARTIDO PRIMERA DIVISION FEMENINA
FC BARCELONA - REAL MADRID
ESTADIO OLIMPICO LLUIS COMPANYS EN MONTJUIC
CALENTAMIENTO

Rodolfo Molina / DIARIO AS

Barcelona's stadium swap

Barcelona, as you are probably aware, are not playing at Camp Nou this season, as it’s undergoing renovation. This season their games are being held at the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys, also known as Montjuïc. 

The capacity is significantly less, around 55,000, and season ticket holders were given the option of skipping this season, something which has caused the atmosphere to become extremely flat. Against Atlético, for example, there were less than 40,000 fans at the game. 

The structure of the stadium doesn’t help, either, as there’s a running track all around the pitch and the stands are flatter than the beer you can buy on the concourse.

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How the table looks:

Well, would you look at that. Girona, for the first time in their history, come up against Barcelona ahead of them in the table, and a win could see them move past Real Madrid into the top spot on their own. Girona’s only loss in LaLiga came against Real Madrid and since then they’ve equalled their title rivals every step of the way.

As for Barcelona, a win today could see them keep the pressure on not just the top two, but Atlético Madrid as well. Their recent 1-0 win over Los Rojiblancos gave them some room to manoeuvre but Atleti have won today which keeps Barça on their toes. 

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Team news: FC Barcelona

Xavi, like most managers in LaLiga, has had plenty of injury woes all throughout the season, and some big names are still unavailable.

Gavi is out for the season and Ter Stegen has just undergone back surgery, so don’t expect to see him soon. 

Iñigo Martínez is out and although Christensen suffered a scare in midweek, it’s thought that he’ll be OK to play. Marcos Alonso is a late absence due to back problems.

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Team news: Girona

Míchel has to deal with the loss of Yangel Herrera, who will be out for around 6 weeks with a physical issue. Pablo Torre was doing a nice job of filling in the hole left by the Venezuelan, but a “fear clause”, as called in Spanish, means that he can’t play against his parent club.

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Welcome!

Hello and a warm welcome to match day 16 in LaLiga EA Sports.

It's Joe here to bring you the minute-by-minute coverage of the Catalan derby!

The action does not stop just because Christmas is creeping closer, and today we’ve got another headline fixture in the advent calendar! 

The Catalangiantsat the top of the table host their noisy neighbours from over the hill.

The side have been playing free-flowing football and have worked their way up to the top of the league with a record identical to that of Real Madrid’s as they fight for the LaLiga crown.

Girona have been excellent all year and today is another test of their talent.

Oh, you thought I was talking about Barcelona?

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