Girona continue to prove the doubters wrong as they went to Barcelona and beat the Blaugrana 4-2 to take sole position atop La Liga standings.
This edition of a Catalan Derby started off strong with both sides going at each other. But it would be the visitors who went ahead in the 12th minute courtesy of Artem Dovbyk, finishing off one of the many outstanding plays from Girona.
Barcelona answered seven minutes later as Robert Lewandowski equalized after connecting with a header from a corner-kick.
The goal seemed to be what Barcelona needed as they started threaten more and more in search of the lead.But Girona didn't sit back, in fact, quite the opposite.
Even when Barcelona were threatening, Girona were still creating chances with Miguel Gutierrez coming close on a couple of occasions before he finally broke through in the 40th minute to give his team the advantage.
That goal proved a turning point in the half as Girona toyed with Barcelona's desperation to look for an equalizer before the half.
At the start of the second half, Barcelona were more composed, trying to bring the game level. Again, they came close on a handful of occasions only to see Girona goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga come up big or fail to be clinical in front of goal.
Valery Fernandez scored what he, and Girona, likely thought was the goal to put the game to rest in the 80th minute. It was one of his first touches of the ball as he came in as a substitute. Cristhian Stuani did well to hold off Ronald Araujo as he played the ball to Fernandez who easily got past Jules Kounde, leaving him one-on-one against Iñaki Peña before striking the ball inside the post and going in.
Five minutes of stoppage time were added where Ilkay Gundogan pulled one back, finally making good on the number of chances he himself spoiled. Despite only minutes left, there was a sense of belief that Barcelona were going to find an equalizer.
A minute later, Lamine Yamal sent in a near perfect cross to an awaiting Lewandowski who mistimed his jump as the ball struck his shoulder, going out of play.
That turned out to be a key play as almost immediately following that, Stuani scored Girona's fourth and final goal to seal an historic victory for Girona. Barcelona went from it almost being 3-3 and rescuing a point, to conceding a fourth and making things more difficult in their chase for the league title.
Girona played one of their best games of the season, on the road, and demonstrated that their season so far is no fluke. Time and time again they were able to beat the Barcelona press with quick passes that led to those goals and other goal scoring opportunities. At times, they had the Barcelona players chasing ghosts in an effort to win the ball back. Ironically, it looked like what Barcelona used to do to teams during the Pep Guardiola era.
For Barcelona, it's a stunning defeat in more ways than one. First and foremost, it was a defeat against a direct opponent that now puts them seven points behind Girona and drops them to fourth place. Second, it once again showed their deficiencies in front of goal. Had they converted on at least one of the many chances they created, the game could have ended differently. It could have been Girona chasing the game and committing too many men forward instead of the other way around.
For Girona, it was a statement win. A statement letting everyone else know they are a serious contender for the league title and no one should take them lightly.