Osasuna 1-2 Barcelona: Visitors come from behind to win despite dismissals of Lewandowski and Pique


Osasuna 1-2 Barcelona: LaLiga leaders come from behind to win despite dismissals of Robert Lewandowski and Gerard Pique with second-half strikes from Pedri and Raphinha

Barcelona will finish the year on top of La Liga after coming back from 1-0 down against Osasuna to win 2-1 with ten men.

Robert Lewandowski was sent off for only the third time in his career for two bookable offences – the first harsh, the second a clear arm in the face of defender David Garcia.

That made the game even more difficult for Xavi’s side but just three weeks after they were beaten by Real Madrid in the Clasico they made sure of top spot above their rivals when La Liga stops for the World Cup. There were long faces after that 3-1 defeat last month – what a contrast to the sight of them out on the pitch at the final whistle celebrating with their small band of travelling supporters.

Osasuna opened the scoring on six minutes when David Garcia headed in a corner. Barcelona claimed that Andreas Christensen had been flattened by Unai Garcia but referee Jesus Gil Manzano allowed the goal.

Moments later he added to his illustrious list of red card victims. Over the years he has sent off Neymar, Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Gareth Bale, and when Lewandowski went in elbow first on David Garcia, having already been booked he had to go.

Barcelona thought they had leveled before the break but Ferran Torres was offside and his goal did not count.

At the restart Pedri made amends taking full advantage of uncharacteristic slack marking from Osasuna. With both Unai and David Garcia trying to mark Torres, Pedri was all alone when the ball came back out to him to slam it past Aitor Fernandez for 1-1.

Gerard Pique was sent off for arguing with the referee in his final Barcelona appearance

Gerard Pique was sent off for arguing with the referee in his final Barcelona appearance

Barcelona coach Xavi threw Raphinha on at the end and the former Leeds man got the winner. Frenkie de Jong was playing in the centre of defence and he pinged a pass that Ronaldo Koeman would have been proud of forward to the Brazilian who headed it over the advancing Fernandez.

Osasuna went for the equalizer but they had left it too late and had too little to offer. Chimy Avila had been their biggest threat and he had been taken off. They could have gone third with the win but instead it’s Barcelona who get the bounce of knowing that whatever Real Madrid do on Thursday it is them who will top La Liga into the New Year.

Even Gerard Pique was left smiling at the final whistle. In his last ever game for the club he had been sent off in the tunnel at the break protesting Lewandowski’s sending off and the fact that Osasuna’s opener had been ruled out. In the end it didn’t matter. Barça start the new year top and he ends his playing career with them looking down on the rest of La Liga.



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