In a massive victory at El Sadar, 10-man FC Barcelona managed to overcome a resilient and in-form Osasuna at the latter’s home. Already having had a rather mediocre record at this particular stadium, the start to the game suggested this result would end up in something similar.
This win now finally takes FC Barcelona to the top of the table being 5 points clear of Real Madrid, with the latter now having played 13 games and having accumulated 32 points while Barcelona themselves have now played a game more (14) but have amassed 37 points.
A rather safe distance compared to being just 2 points ahead following Los Blancos’s loss to Rayo Vallecano. Going into the International Break, the Catalans can rest assured knowing they’ve accumulated as many points as they possibly could have in these final few games before the start of the FIFA World Cup 2022.
In the very early stages of the game, even before the first 10 minutes had been completed, Osasuna took the lead through a well-executed corner kick. And moreover, by the 31st minute Robert Lewandowski of all people got himself sent off on the basis of a completely unnecessary and rather stupid challenge on David Garcia. Going into the half-time break, the advantage clearly rested with the home team.
A game where most of the chances and threats came from Osasuna’s side, and the possession itself was not as one-sided as it usually is when Barcelona is concerned. Sharing it with 53% to the Catalans, and 47% to Osasuna. Moreover, Osasuna accumulated an xG of 0.95 throughout the game while the visiting team managed to accumulate only an xG of 0.83 throughout the whole game.
In the second half, Barcelona managed to strike back early, with a rebounded attempt falling straight to Pedri, who made no mistake this time around. In usual circumstances, it’s common to see Pedri take his time in such scenarios or even pass it to another outlet, but it was a pleasant sight to see no hesitation from the young Spaniard this time around. 1-1.
A rather aggressive game from start to finish, as was expected of this fixture beforehand given how resilient both teams had been this season. A total of 9 yellow cards were shown during this game, as well as 2 red ones to Robert Lewandowski and Gerard Pique respectively.
Regardless of some unfavorable rulings from referee Gil Manzano, FC Barcelona did end up clawing their way back to win this game following the substitutions that took place and finally managed to score the winning goal in the 85th minute through a combination of Frenkie De Jong and Raphinha.
The Dutchman lobbed the ball far over the Osasuna defense, and the Brazilian managed to beat the offside trap cleverly to reach the ball right on the edge of the box and chip it over Aitor (the Osasuna goalkeeper) with a well-timed and precise header. 1-2 to Barcelona.
Despite being a man down, against one of the toughest opponents they’ve had to face in La Liga this season, FC Barcelona managed to emerge as victors out of this game that seemed doomed quite early on. This relentless fighting spirit has been something that had been missing for the Catalans in recent times, yet it seems this new generation and their young blood may have just that spirit up their sleeves given the numerous late goals La Blaugrana have managed to score this season.
Arch-rivals Real Madrid next face Cadiz on the 11th of November, and the fixture will be key to determining the difference between the two sides going into the World Cup break but one thing is certain the Catalans will head into the break as League Leaders. Visca Barca.