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FC Barcelona have won their third game in a row after coming out tops in an intense Sunday night fixture in Pamplona.
Despite taking the lead on the stroke of half-time, the home side battled back hard and nabbed an equaliser with 15 minutes to go. But shortly after Osasuna’s goal, Barça were able clinch the three points from the penalty spot.
Victory moves the blaugrana up to joint second in the table with fellow Catalan outfit Girona.
The game also marked the debuts of new loanees João Cancelo, who Xavi Hernández sent on for the last half hour, and João Félix for the last ten, and also of Iñigo Cancelo, who got a late run-out in injury time.
Barça took the lead with the very last action of the first half, when Ilkay Gundogan’s corner was powered home by a Jules Kounde header.
The Catalans had started the game very brightly, but after they had scuffed a couple of excellent chances early on, the home side started creating more and more trouble. It took a glorious Ter Stegen save to keep out what looked like a certain goal for Aimar Oroz.
Kounde’s goal finally gave Barça the edge, but Osasuna were still very much in the game at the break.
After Barça scored, most of the play was in their own half. The defence was doing a fine job at keeping the Osasuna forwards at bay, but after holding out until we entered the final quarter hour, they were finally beaten.
Chimy Ávila had a pop from outside the area and it bounded in off the post. 1-1.
El Sadar’s joy only lasted for five minutes until Alejandro Catena pulled down Robert Lewandowski in the area. Following five minutes of confusion, the verdict was a red card and a penalty… the latter confidently stroked home by the same man from Poland.
Despite being reduced to ten men, Osasuna kept believing they could do something, but Barça survived ten minutes of tense injury time to ensure another winning week in La Liga.
With club football taking a break for internationals, there’s no game next week. Barça will be back on September 16 with a game at home to Real Betis.