Girona claim shock victory at Barcelona to move back to top of LaLiga
With Real Madrid having only been able to draw at Real Betis on Saturday, Michel’s well-drilled side made the most of their opportunity.
Girona moved back to the top of LaLiga as they shocked Catalan rivals Barcelona with a 4-2 win at the Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys.
With Real Madrid having only been able to draw at Real Betis on Saturday, Michel’s well-drilled side made the most of their opportunity with a brilliant display after taking an early lead through Artem Dovbyk.
Although Robert Lewandowski soon headed in an equaliser, left-back Miguel Gutierrez fired the visitors back in front before half-time and substitute Valery added a late third.
Ilkay Gundogan pulled one back for Barca in stoppage time, but Cristhian Stuani knocked in Girona’s fourth to seal a memorable victory.
Following a 13th league win of a superb campaign so far, Girona sit two points clear of Real Madrid, while Barcelona drop seven points off the pace.
After a lively start, it was Girona who went ahead following a swift counter attack in the 12th minute.
Viktor Tsygankov timed his run down the right perfectly to stay onside before crossing for fellow Ukrainian Dovbyk to knock the ball in off the far post.
Barcelona produced a swift response as Raphinha brought a smart save from Girona goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga before Lewandowski headed in an equaliser from a corner in the 19th minute.
Despite all of Barcelona’s possession, Girona remained a threat on the break with Miguel Gutierrez flashing a drive across goal and just wide of the far post.
Joao Cancelo weaved into the left side of the Girona penalty area, but Gazzaniga stood up to make a block at the near post.
Full-back Gutierrez flashed another low shot just wide before he fired Girona back in front – five minutes before the break – with a fierce 18-yard drive after surging forwards down the left.
Barcelona started the second half on the front foot as Frenkie De Jong – who moved alongside Johan Cruyff’s total of 139 league appearances for the Blaugrana – and Gundogan both tested Gazzaniga with low drives from the edge of the penalty area.
Germany midfielder Gundogan then cut a shot across goal and just wide as the hosts continued to search for an equaliser.
Girona, though, stunned the home fans once again by scoring a third with 10 minutes left.
This time it was move direct with Stuani nodding down a long drop kick from Gazzaniga into the path of fellow substitute Valery, who got to the ball ahead of Jules Kounde at the edge of the area to slot past Inaki Pena.
Savio had a chance to add a fourth, but smashed his shot straight at Barcelona goalkeeper Pena, the ball striking him in the face from point-blank range.
Gundogan pulled one back for Barca in stoppage time before Lewandowski headed wide and Stuani then knocked in Girona’s fourth at the far post following a free-kick into the box.