Pedri scored on his 100th appearance to give FC Barcelona a 1-0 win over Girona in the Catalan Derby.
The Catalan derby struggled to get going in the first half, with the home side defending deep, allowing Barcelona to have the majority of the possession but forcing them to play side-to-side with very little penetration.
Girona’s best moment in the first half came when Rodrigo Riquelme played a fantastic through ball into Yan Couto, but the Man City loanee lost his footing in the box and the danger was cleared.
Copa del Rey
Dembele strike sees Barca into final four at expense of 10-man Sociedad
25/01/2023 AT 19:26
Barcelona’s best chance in the first half came after 28 minutes. Girona tried to play out from the back and Ansu Fati was on hand to pounce onto the loose ball but could only fire his effort well over the crossbar.
Xavi’s side, presumably after a stern talking to during the break, came out for the second half looking to move the ball a lot quicker and with more purpose after what was a fairly lethargic first period.
After 61 minutes Barcelona found the breakthrough. Girona failed to clear the danger and when the ball eventually found its way to Ansu Fati, he played a great ball out to the left for Jordi Alba who was able to fire in a ball in across the face of goal which Paulo Gazzaniga failed to deal with and Pedri was waiting to tap home at the far post on his 100th appearance.
Girona responded brilliantly to going 1-0 down, having their best spell of possession of the match shortly after.
They moved the ball much quicker into the wide areas and fired in a succession of crosses which had the Barcelona defence really working for the first time in the game.
Girona’s best chance of the match came just four minutes from time, Aleix Garcia played a perfect cross in to Ivan Martin six yards from goal but he could only fire his effort wide of the goal.
Girona continued to push on but to no avail. Barcelona managed to see out yet another scrappy victory, making it eight consecutive victories across all competitions and taking them to six points clear at the top of La Liga.
TALKING POINT – WINNING UGLY
Xavi’s side have only went and done it again! This result means that the Blaugrana have won each of their last three matches by a 1-0 scoreline (Girona, Real Sociedad & Getafe CF), taking their unbeaten run across all competitions to 13 matches and extending their winning run to nine matches. Like the Sociedad and Getafe matches, it was a game where Barca had to ride their luck at times and keep their concentration throughout, but this is a side who have conceded just six goals all season in La Liga and Xavi really has this defence in great shape. Barcelona will no doubt be a more threatening outfit going forward when Robert Lewandowski returns from suspension and if Ansu Fati is able to gain some form, but in the meantime they are doing what all true champions do, picking up points despite not being at their best.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – PEDRI (FC BARCELONA)
The 20-year-old was superb for Barcelona after coming off the bench to replace the injured Ousmane Dembele. He tried to make things happen on the ball as Barcelona attempted to break down a stubborn Girona defence. He was involved in the build-up to the goal he scored too, laying it off for Gavi before intelligently making his way into the area to get on the end of Jordi Alba’s cross. It’s hard to believe he has made 100 appearances for Barcelona considering he only turned 20 in November, but when you consider the calibre of player he is, reaching a century of appearances comes as no surprise.
Oriol Romeu of Girona FC, Pedri Gonzalez of FC Barcelona during the La Liga Santander match between Girona v FC Barcelona at the Estadi Municipal Montilivi on January 28, 2023
Image credit: Getty Images
GIRONA FC: Gazzaniga 5, Martinez 7, Bernardo 6, Juanpe 6, Miguel 7, Couto 7, Romeu 7, Garcia 7, Riquelme 6, Herrera 6, Castellanos 6
SUBS: Villa 6, Martin 6, Fernandez 6, Roca 6, Stuani 6
FC BARCELONA: Ter Stegen 7, Alonso 6, Garcia 8, Araujo 8, Kounde 7, de Jong 7, Busquets 7, Gavi 7, Dembele 5, Fati 6, Raphinha 7
SUBS: Pedri 9, Alba 8, Balde 6, Kessie N/A
28′ OVER! – That was a gift and it’s another missed chance! Girona try to play it around at the back and Ansu Fati latches onto a loose ball before firing well over.
61′ GOAL – FC BARCELONA – Pedri makes it 1-0 in his 100th match! Ansu Fati plays in Jordi Alba who fires in a ball across the face of goal and Pedri is on hand to tap home after Gazzaniga failed to deal with it.
86′ BIG CHANCE! – That might have been the BIG chance for Girona and it’s not been taken! Ivan Martin can only volley his effort over the ball.
Barcelona are the team in the top 5 European leagues with the most games played without a defeat in all competitions in 2023. via Opta Jose on Twitter.
More to follow.
Pedri fires unconvincing Barcelona to win over Getafe
22/01/2023 AT 18:23
Gavi stars as Barcelona dominate Real Madrid in Spanish Super Cup
15/01/2023 AT 18:02