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Barcelona 2-4 Girona: Player ratings

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Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Barcelona faced another stern test in a Catalan derby with a much feistier undertone than one could ever imagine, as they hosted Girona in their La Liga Matchday 16 clash.

Michel Sanchez’s Girona side have been in flying form this season and so far have established themselves as genuine contenders to fight for the league title, having won 12 of their first 15 games and only losing one, enjoying atop the table.

Their dream start to the season meant Barcelona went into the game trailing them by four points and facing a must-win situation to avoid falling too far behind their neighbours, as well as eternal rivals Real Madrid.

It was a big task, and sadly one that Barcelona could not come through. While they were not poor going forward, ther horrible defending really came back to bite them as Girona stifled them very effectively and played some silky football of their own.

Here are the ratings from a miserable evening as Barcelona’s neighbours claimed their first-ever win over the azulgranas.

Inaki Pena: 5

The 24-year-old did not do much wrong and there was not much he could do about the first and third goals, but as good as the finish was, he does have points docked for conceding the second at his near post and his distribution.

Jules Kounde: 5

Kounde started again at right-back, made some proactive forays forward and recovered to win his duels on the defensive side of things initially, but also left his flank exposed on a few occasions and was exposed for the third and final goal.

Ronald Araujo: 4

Was dragged all over the place positionally as Girona stretched the play exceptionally well, and was not at his usual brilliant best, showing an uncharacteristic lack of determination.

Andreas Christensen: 4

His stellar run of form hit a halt, as Christensen’s error saw Viktor Tsygankov run through to set up Girona’s opener and also did not close Gutierrez down quick enough for the second goal.

Joao Cancelo: 4.5

Although he got into some good positions when he ventured forward, the full-back also could not capitalise on some good chances and left his centre-backs stranded one time too many.

Frenkie de Jong: 8

Always looked good while carrying the ball forward and was among the Catalans’ most lively players, also bailing them out consistently at the back.

The brightest point. (Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images)

Ilkay Gundogan: 7

Kept things tidy as he helped enter the final third and also had a few cracks at goal, and scored in the dying embers to cut the lead, but should have probably had more.

Pedri: 7

His ability to seemingly always make the right decision is astounding. Pedri was very solid in possession, but could not stamp his authority on the game in the second half.

Raphinha: 6

A great delivery from the corner to assist Robert Lewandowski and his work rate was offset by the subpar crosses that followed and some poor decision-making and sloppy touches.

Robert Lewandowski: 6

Scored a great header to equalise for Barcelona, but did little outside of that and missed a glorious chance to level in the final moments of the game.

Joao Felix: 4.5

After what initially looked like it might be a bright start, Felix seemed completely invisible and entirely failed to exert his influence on the game.

Frustrating, to say the least. (Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images)

SUBSTITUTES:

Lamine Yamal: 6

Made some good darts inward and put in a couple of good passes into the box.

Ferran Torres: 6.5

Seemed immediately energetic when he came on, inverting in off the left sharply and played some clever link-up passes, also setting up Gundogan’s late goal.

Alejandro Balde: 5.5

Strangely brought on at centre-back, Balde was tasked with going forward when in possession but not much came out of it.

Fermin Lopez: N/A

Did not have enough time to make an impact.

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