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FC Barcelona’s 15-game unbeaten run in La Liga came to an end on Easter Monday in what was also their second defeat at Camp Nou in just four days.
Cádiz, who had avoided defeat in each of the last three meetings with the blaugrana, extended that run to four as they came away with three points from an intense clash.
Barça had chance after chance to make amends for Lucas Pérez’s 48th minute goal, but Jeremías Ledesma produced the performance of a lifetime in the Cádiz goal and ensured his club’s first ever win at the stadium.
The result leaves the Catalans tied on 60 points with Sevilla and Atlético Madrid, but with a game in hand on those two, and also on leaders Real Madrid, who are now 15 points ahead of the chasing threesome.
The second half proved to be somewhat livelier than the first 45 minutes, which had seen Barça dominate without creating much in the way of clear-cut chances. Ousmane Dembélé tended to be the most dangerous looking man going forward, but the Frenchman couldn’t find a way to beat Ledesma in the visiting goal.
That was going to be the story of the night.
However, the best chance of the first half was probably the one that Lucas Pérez will feel he really should have done better with.
But the Cádiz striker was able to make amends just three minutes after the restart when his goal put the Andalusians into an unexpected lead. Ter Stegen blocked Rubén Sobrino’s header from point-blank range but Pérez was quickest onto the rebound.
Barça spent the whole of the second half fully plugged into turning the game around. A superlative Dembélé was running the show, but Ledesma continued to have the better of their private battle.
Meanwhile, Cádiz were managing to make it the stop-start game they wanted. Spoiling tactics, interruptions and time-wasting made it hard for Barça to get into top gear. Even so, Álex Fernández squandered a very easy chance to make it 2-0 and Cádiz’s counter attacks were giving Ter Stegen two or three things to think about, including one speculative effort that came back off the post…
But there was plenty of time. And Barça were doing everything right. But time and again, that man Ledesma was on hand to scupper their plans. Eric Garcia from long range, Aubameyang from up close... No matter where the shots came from, the Argentine stopper was there to meet them with impossible saves.
A disappointing evening when the chances came but the goals did not. Barça will be back in action on Thursday (9.30pm CEST) when they’re away to sixth placed Real Sociedad.
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