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Two own goals gift Barcelona comfortable win over Girona

Two own goals gift Barcelona comfortable win over Girona

23/09/2017 at 20:21Updated 23/09/2017 at 22:10

La Liga, Estadi Montilivi - Girona 0 Barcelona 3 (Aday O.G. 17', Iraizoz O.G. 48', Suarez 69')

Barcelona were handed a comfortable victory over Girona with the hosts gifting Ernesto Valverde’s side two own goals as they restored their seven-point lead over Real Madrid at the top of the La Liga table.

Both the Girona captain Aday and goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz put the ball into their own net as the visitors were handed a two-goal lead by the 48th minute, with Valverde rotating his squad ahead of next week’s Champions League clash against Sporting Lisbon.

Luis Suarez put the result beyond any doubt with a clinical finish in the 69th minute to wrap the game up, with Barcelona controlling the majority of the contest without much fuss. In truth, Girona never really troubled their Catalan neighbours.

Valverde’s men now hold a four-point lead over second-placed Atletico Madrid at the top of the La Liga table with a perfect six-wins-out-of-six record, and a seven-point lead over rivals Real Madrid.

Luis Suárez celebrates

Luis Suárez celebratesGetty Images

TALKING POINT - Will Luis Suarez’s goal see him emerge from his slump?

This has been the worst slump of Suarez’s Barcelona career, with the Uruguayan scoring just one goal before this game. Against Getafe, he was atrocious and he didn’t look much better in the early stages of this match against Girona, but he persevered and got his goal. Will that now act as a catalyst for him to emerge from his slump?

MAN OF THE MATCH - Aleix Vidal (Barcelona)

Last season, Aleix Vidal was given time off by Luis Enrique to attend a wedding. That didn't exactly say a lot about the full back turned winger’s value to Barcelona, but things have been rather different this season. Valverde has found a role for Vidal and this was arguably his best display in a Barcelona shirt so far.

PLAYER RATINGS

Girona - Gorka 7, Maffeo 6, Juanpe 5, Ramalho 5, Bernardo 5, Aday 6, Garcia 5, Pons 5, Luiz 8, Portu 6, Olunga 7. Subs - Kayode 5, Mojica 5, Moreno 5.

Barcelona - Ter Stegen 6, Roberto 6, Mascherano 6, Umtiti 6, Alba 7, Iniesta 6, Rakitic 5, Paulinho 7, Vidal 8, Messi 5, Suarez 6. Subs - Denis 5, Gomes 5, Busquets 6.

FC Barcelona

FC BarcelonaGetty Images

KEY MOMENTS

17’ GOAL! Girona 0-1 Barcelona: That's so unfortunate for the home side. Alba takes aim on the full volley from a corner kick, but it ends up in the net via a massive deflection off Aday. That might be an own goal.

47’ GOAL! Girona 0-2 Barcelona: How did that go in? Vidal looked to have overrun the ball, but he cut the cross back with a backheel and then Suarez turned it home with a backheel flick of his own at the near post. Wow.

70’ GOAL! Girona 0-3 Barcelona: And that will be the points in the bag. For the first time tonight, Suarez beats the offside trap to get in behind, shaping to shoot across the keeper before firing the effort in at the near post.

KEY STATS

Luis Suarez has scored against 24 of the 25 sides he has faced in La Liga.

‘Own goal’ is Barcelona’s second top goalscorer in La Liga this season with three.

This was the first time Barcelona and Girona have met each other in a derby match since 1949.

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