Barcelona disappoints in a draw against Girona

Barcelona disappoints in a draw against Girona

In the Monday Catalan derby at At Camp Nou, Girona held Barcelona to a scoreless draw as Barcelona pushed its lead over Real Madrid to 13 points. For the best sports betting casinos of April 2023, CasinoDaddy is the place to be at! 

Despite having the most possession, Xavi Hernandez’s team could not beat Girona goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga. Instead, the visitors, through on-loan New York City FC striker Valentin Castellanos, had the greatest opportunity of the second half. In stoppage time, Barcelona had a chance to win the match, but Gazzaniga once more saved Girona by tipping a header from Hernandez over the crossbar.

After losing to Madrid in the Copa del Rey last week, Xavi wanted a response from his team, but he did not receive it. For just the third time this season, they lost at home after failing to go past second gear against Girona. Yet Madrid’s Saturday defeat to Villarreal was also a point won in the fight for the championship. With just 10 games remaining in the Clasico, Barcelona suddenly leads its competitors by 13 points.

There were times when it appeared as though Barca would wake up, particularly in the first half. In the frantic first ten minutes, Robert Lewandowski and Ansu Fati had opportunities. Gazzaniga also did remarkably well to stop a back ball from Santiago Bueno after a defensive blunder. The Argentine goalkeeper then made a save on a shot from Raphinha before clearing a header from Ronald Araujo.

The work for Gazzaniga decreased following the break. In actuality, Girona squandered the second half’s finest opportunity. As Castellanos came face-to-face with Marc-Andre ter Stegen, he missed the mark. But, it was only right that Gazzaniga, with his tardy arrival from Gavi, had the final say.

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Barca’s attack could require a lineup adjustment

The goalless tie raises more concerns about Barca’s offensive, although it is unlikely to prevent them from winning their first league championship since 2019. Their consistency this season has been built on clean sheets — they have conceded just nine goals in 28 league games — and they have had nine nervy 1-0 wins in LaLiga.

Lewandowski has scored 17 goals in his debut campaign in Spain’s top flight, but his contributions have dried up since the World Cup. He looked off the pace when collecting a Gavi pass in the second half here, delaying his shot and wasting the chance. At his sharpest, he would have scored. Ansu, Raphinha, and Ferran Torres could not deliver, either, while Ousmane Dembele remains injured.

Nevertheless, Xavi’s willingness to mix up his pack during an assault is frequently mentioned in the local press. This demonstration makes it clear why.

Castellanos, a striker for NYCFC, ought to have notched one of his most illustrious goals. He had just Ter Stegen to beat after escaping the offside trap in the second half, but he missed wide. His night ended in less than two minutes, with the seasoned forward Cristhian Stuani taking his place at the hour mark.

Castellanos’ first season in Spain has been uneven. He is solely on loan to Girona, where he is a regular with seven goals across all competitions. Nevertheless, the Catalan side is powerless to make the agreement permanent, and it’s possible that he didn’t go far enough to satisfy New York’s ambition to acquire him for at least €15 million this coming summer.

Fortunately, his mistake shouldn’t follow him when the season is over. Girona now appears secure after a respectable first season back in LaLiga. With this point, they are eight points ahead of the bottom three.

Author: Bobby Parker