Barcelona extended their perfect start to the La Liga season with a sixth consecutive victory, this time a 3-0 triumph away from home against Catalan rivals Girona. The Blaugrana were solid throughout the match and never looked like dropping points, and while this wasn’t their best performance, it was strong enough to get a good win at a difficult stadium and remain perfect in the league.
Because Girona like to press high up the pitch and play a very high defensive line, Ernesto Valverde had one clear plan for this game: build the play until midfield and try long passes to find runners in behind the Girona defenders. The passes were there, but Girona’s defenders worked very well together and constantly caught Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez offside.
In the moments where they did create chances and found players onside, Barça attacked primarily through the right with Aleix Vidal and Sergi Roberto highly involved in the plays, and that’s how Barça got a corner that led to their goal. Messi took the corner and sent the ball straight to Jordi Alba at the edge of the box, and Alba’s shot deflected off Aday and beat Gorka Iraizoz for the lone goal of the half.
Girona had no real dangerous chances and Barça were in complete control, but the Blaugrana were very economical with their attacks and went into halftime with a narrow lead. They needed to improve the score and their performance to guarantee the win.
Barça made the game more comfortable right at the start of the final period when Suárez and Aleix Vidal made a great combination on the right side of the box, and when Vidal’s cross was about to reach Suárez, Girona keeper Iraizoz inadvertently knocked the ball into his own net and doubled Barça’s lead.
Girona took control of possession for a few minutes after the goal and put in a couple of dangerous cross into the box, but Marc-André ter Stegen didn’t need to make any big saves. Barça were clearly looking to preserve energy, absorb some pressure and score a vital third goal, and the plan worked when Sergi Roberto played a wonderful pass over the top to find Luis Suárez who easily scored the goal that effectively ended the game at 3-0.
With the win in the bag, Barça simply kept possession and waited for the final whistle. The final whistle came, and the Blaugrana continue to play well and win game after game. Not too shabby, you know.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Mascherano, Umtiti, Alba; Paulinho (Busquets), Rakitic, Iniesta (Denis); Vidal (Gomes), Messi, Suárez
Goals: Aday (O.G. 17’), Iraizoz (O.G. 48’), Suárez (69’)
Girona: Iraizoz; Ramalho, Bernardo, Juanpe, Aday (Mojica); Maffeo (Marlos); Pons, García, Douglas; Portu, Olunga (Kayode)