Barcelona suffer another humiliating loss at the hands of Girona

Barcelona were unable to put Girona away and lose 4-2, falling down to third place in the process.
Girona FC v FC Barcelona - LaLiga EA Sports
Girona FC v FC Barcelona - LaLiga EA Sports / Alex Caparros/GettyImages

Eight goals.

Eight goals.

That's how many goals Girona scored against Barcelona in their encounters this season, winning both games by a 4-2 score line.

In a game all too familiar for Barcelona fans, it was Xavi's side who pulled ahead in just three minutes into the game thanks to Andreas Christensen who scored his third goal in six games. But that lead lasted only a minute as straight from kick-off, Girona equalized with a header by Artem Dobvyk.

Barcelona would create some half-chances but were unable to score a second. That was until stoppage time before the end of the half as Lamine Yamal was clipped with his foot just inside the penalty. Initially, the referee didn't even whistle for a foul. It was only after a VAR review the penalty was given. Robert Lewandowski converted, putting Barcelona ahead before the break.

Barcelona seemed to have control of the match in the second half, creating a handful of opportunities to score a third. However, they were wasteful and those wasted chances would come back to haunt them in a big way.

Portu, only minutes after entering the game, equalized for Girona after Sergi Roberto inexplicably tried playing the ball back to Marc-Andre ter Stegen only to leave it well short for Girona to pounce. Minutes after equalizing, Pau Cubarsi tried flicking a pass only for it to miss its intended destination. Girona recovered and with Barcelona's defense trying to cut out any possible angles, Miguel Gutierrez's shot deflected off Kounde as Girona took the lead.

In a span of about two minutes, not only had Girona tied the game, but took the lead as well. Portu then put the icing on the cake for the home crowd as he volleyed one in from a tight angle for the fourth goal.

"I am really sad and disappointed because we have seen both sides of the coin in one game," Xavi said after the match. "I was very satisfied at halftime beacuse we pressed well and dominated Girona, which is very difficult, perhaps until the 60th minute. From there, it's the summary of our season."

Too often this season defensive blunders and the inability to put teams away has cost Barcelona wins and it did so again against Girona.

"We were not clinical. If we get the third goal, it changes the game," Xavi said. "I don't know how many chances we created, but enough. We need to be more effective in the final third.

"And then it's about mistakes. We had the game under control, but once again it comes down to errors."

Xavi has been unable to find the solution to fix those errors as they've been one of the few things Barcelona have been consistent in much to their frustration. Coincidentally enough, the run of games where it seemed like Barcelona had tightened the ship, it was after Xavi initially announced he was departing at the end of the season. They've reappeared ever since he and the club announced he was staying.

In any event, the loss drops Barcelona down to third place, one point behind Girona. They now need help from other teams to take points off Girona if they want to finish in second place. They also have to take advantage of those potential slip-ups which isn't a given with this Barcelona team.

Finishing in third would be catastrophic as it would mean Barcelona would not qualify for the Spanish Super Cup next season, missing out on much needed revenue. They already lost out on the Club World Cup thanks to crashing out in the quarterfinals as well as losing those games during the group stage.


President Joan Laporta said losing leads to consequences. So far, it hasn't. He made the final choice in deciding to keep Xavi for another season. It remains to be seen whether he goes back on his decision should Barcelona fail to finish second.