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Champions Barca Drop Points For The First Time

LaLiga 

Result: FC Barcelona 2-2 Girona

Date: 23 September 2018

Venue: Camp Nou

LaLiga champions FC Barcelona dropped points for the first time this season as they drew 2-2 with Girona in an entertaining Catalan derby at the Camp Nou.

Samuel Umtiti was surprisingly left out of the line up along with Philippe Coutinho and Ivan Rakitic, as Clement Lenglet, Arthur and Arturo Vidal were handed starts.
 
The home side were in control from the onset, but they had to wait until the 19th minute for the opening goal as Vidal broke into the box before teeing up Lionel Messi, who stroked the ball into the bottom corner.
 
However, the Camp Nou were left stunned in the 35th minute when Lenglet was shown a straight red card for elbowing Pere Pons.
 
The visitors then leveled matters on the stroke of halftime as Christian Stuani pulled clear of Gerard Pique before lifting the ball beyond Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.
 
Six minutes into the second half, the visitors went ahead as Stuani bagged his second of the game with a close range after Ter Stegen had saved Christian Portu's initial effort.
 
Messi nearly restored parity just before the hour mark with an impressive free-kick that crashed against the crossbar.
 
However, Barca were level in the 63rd minute as Pique rose highest to head into the far corner after the goalkeeper had saved Luis Suarez's initial shot.
 
The hosts were camped in the Girona half for the rest of the game, with Philippe Coutinho going close with a couple off efforts from distance.
 
Despite enjoying a lion's share of the possession, Barca were unable to carve out a clear-cut chance in the closing stages as Girona held on for a valuable point.
 
Other results:

Levante 2-6 Sevilla
Villarreal 0-0 Valencia
Real Betis 2-2 Athletic Bilbao

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