- Girona hosted Barcelona in La Liga on Saturday evening at the Estadia Montilivi
- Barcelona needed a win to go further ahead at the top of the La Liga table
- Pedri marked his 100th Barcelona appearance by scoring the winner to hand Barcelona all the three points
Pedri scored in the second half as La Liga leaders Barcelona improved to eight victories in nine La Liga games and defeated Girona 1-0 on Saturday.
At Estadi Montilivi, Xavi’s team battled in the opening period, and their dissatisfaction was increased when Ousmane Dembele suffered an injury just before halftime.
They improved after the break, and Pedri’s fifth league goal of the year, on his 100th appearance for the team, helped them secure three points shortly beyond the hour mark.
As a result, Barca now leads the league standings by six points, while Real Madrid may close the gap to three points on Sunday when they play Real Sociedad, who are now in third place.
After Dembele pulled up holding his left leg in the 26th minute, Pedri was sent on to replace the France international.
The 20-year-old midfielder initially did little to enliven Xavi’s sputtering team, who entered halftime with just two feeble attempts on goal.
However, he came to the fore after the break, tapping in from close range in the 61st minute after Paulo Gazzaniga mishandled a low cross from the left by Jordi Alba.
Following that loss, Girona made a strong comeback, with Michel’s team applying heavy pressure to the Barca backline in the game’s closing moments.
Late in the game, an unmarked Ivan Martin mysteriously missed wide from six yards, preventing the visitors from earning all three points in their quest to capture their first championship since the 2018–19 season.
Barcelona avoid a slip-up
For the first 60 minutes, it appeared as though Barca may lose against Girona, which is what Xavi called a “catastrophe.”
The strain on Madrid before their matchup with La Real on Sunday was increased by Pedri, who was in the right place at the right time to slip home an easy finish.
Pedri shines in 100th appearance as Raphinha struggles again
No player on the field had more shots when Pedri entered the game after a quarter of the game (two). Since Xavi became Barca’s manager, the gifted Spain international has scored 72.7% of his shots on goal (8/11), the most significant percentage of any player who has scored at least six goals during this time.
Raphinha had a rough game and only managed one shot before Franck Kessie came on late. In his first season with the Blaugrana, the Brazil international has scored just twice in 17 La Liga games.
Barca hit the road again on Wednesday when they visit Real Betis, while Girona are next in action a week on Sunday when they host Valencia.