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Spanish La Liga match report Girona v FC Barcelona 23 September 2017

25 September, 2017, 01:12 | Author: Sylvester Abbott
  • David Ramos  GettyImages

Pablo Maffeo, on loan from Manchester City, stifled Messi in an impressive man-marking effort, stopping the 30-year-old from adding to his nine league goals of the campaign.

An own goal either side of the break and a second-half Luis Suarez strike ensured Barcelona maintained their 100percent start to the La Liga season with a comfortable 3-0 victory away to Catalan rivals Girona on Saturday.

"I think Messi was fine".

The Catalan giants have been in sensational form of late with Argentina global Lionel Messi pulling the strings, but he, watched closely by Manchester City loanee Pablo Maffeo, couldn't get in on the act and wasn't even involved in any of the goals.

"We lost so I'm not happy, but we managed to minimise the input of the best player in the world", said Girona manager Pablo Machin in his postgame news conference. "It's a derby, there was a great atmosphere, tension".

"We needed to combat Girona's enthusiasm and we got the job done".

Dani Ceballos scored twice on his first league start for Real Madrid as they beat struggling Alaves.

FC Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde has said his squad will face Girona this weekend determined to maintain its flawless record.

As reported by Marca, Alba said: "The coach is managing the squad to perfection, we are all getting a chance to play".

Aday Benitez's own goal was all that separated the two sides at half-time, and Aleix Vidal helped settle the nerves by forcing another own goal before Luis Suarez scored in his 100th league appearance for Barca.

It's true that Girona weren't quite the whirling dervishes of their opening two La Liga games and they did miss Christian Stuani badly, but for the first ever top-flight Catalan derby one might have expected something more from them. "All the players are responding to what the coach is asking of us and everything's going well, but it's clear there's still a lot of the season left".

"He is working with us very well".

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