Girona secure famous first win over Barcelona to go top in LaLiga

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Barca vs Girona
Barca vs Girona
Girona picked up a maiden LaLiga victory against Barcelona to return to the top of the table as they prevailed 4-2 at the Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys.

The hosts enjoyed plenty of possession in the opening stages, but it was instead Girona who struck first, with Viktor Tsyhankov taking advantage of the Blaugrana’s incredibly high line to pounce onto Yan Couto’s through ball and play in Ukrainian compatriot Artem Dovbyk, who tapped in via the post.

Barcelona, though, have plenty of quality themselves and, after Raphinha had seen an effort spectacularly saved from close range by Paulo Gazzaniga, the Brazilian swung in the subsequent corner for Robert Lewandowski to head home.

After that, however, Girona had numerous chances to restore their advantage. Miguel Gutierrez was the main danger and shot narrowly wide before having an effort tipped behind by Inaki Pena, who had come into the starting XI for the injured Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

The left wing-back, though, had the goal his threat deserved shortly before half-time when he drove from deep and then fired beyond Pena’s desperate dive.

Pedri was then thwarted by Gazzaniga at the other end with the final chance of the half.

At the beginning of the second half, Barcelona took the game to their opponents, as Gazzaniga kept out Frenkie De Jong’s shot from 25 yards, before the Argentinian palmed Jules Kounde header away and Ronald Araujo nodded over.

However, as they failed to get back on level terms, the home team’s heads dropped, allowing Girona to regain some composure and regroup.

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They began to cause problems on the counterattack and ultimately doubled their lead through substitute Valery Fernandez who, after getting slightly fortunate to get past Kounde, slotted into the bottom corner.

Ilkay Gündogan did pull one back in injury time with a shot on the turn, but Cristhian Stuani’s back-post strike at the death secured the famous win.

For underdogs Girona, this is a huge statement, and takes them on to 41 points – that is only 10 fewer than their highest previous tally at this level.

Barcelona, meanwhile, have now won only one of their last three games and, even if Girona are unable to keep this pace up, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid are also well-placed to claim the Catalan outfit’s title. They will, therefore, be eager to return to top form as soon as possible, starting away at Valencia next week.

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