Stymied in assault and with out its prime two scorers, Barcelona turned to Pedri to make sure they attain the Spanish league halfway level forward of Real Madrid within the title chase.
Pedri marked his a hundredth Barcelona look on the ripe age of 20 by scoring as an alternative to squeeze previous Girona 1-0 on Saturday. The Spain midfielder, who has develop into a pillar of the post-Lionel Messi rebuild below Xavi, grew to become the second youngest participant in membership historical past to achieve the century mark in video games performed.
Girona held the league front-runner in examine till Pedri’s fellow substitute, Jordi Alba, discovered him with a low cross at shut vary within the 61st. Pedri, who gained the Kopa Trophy and the Golden Boy awards in 2021 for the continent’s most promising under-21 participant, has scored six instances this season, together with the one purpose in a win over Getafe within the final spherical.
“This is what coach has asked me to do,” Pedri stated about his targets.
“I know that (scoring) is one thing that I had to improve upon, and now that I am arriving more to the area the goals are coming.” Barcelona moved six factors away from Real Madrid earlier than the titleholder hosted third-placed Real Sociedad on Sunday.
Pedri began on the bench as Xavi rotated his lineup forward of every week with video games towards Real Betis and Sevilla. He changed Ousmane Dembélé within the twenty fifth after the ahead felt one thing go awry following a dash. He walked off the sphere and watched the remainder of the sport from the stands.
Barcelona stated Dembélé injured a muscle in his left thigh. It didn’t give an estimate on how lengthy he can be sidelined.
Dembélé, who suffered a sequence of accidents in his first seasons with Barcelona, has averted severe damage since coming back from a knee concern in November 2021.
“It is too bad because he is one of our most decisive players,” Xavi stated about his speedy winger.
Dembélé has eight targets on this marketing campaign and is Barcelona’s finest one-on-one attacker in open house.
That left Barcelona with out its main scorers this season. Robert Lewandowski, who leads the league with 13 targets, accomplished a three-game league suspension. Forward Ferran Torres was additionally suspended.
With Ansu Fati and Raphinha unable to generate a lot in assault, Xavi despatched on Alba at halftime at left again for Marcos Alonso to assist discover a breakthrough.
A sequence of one-touch passes freed Alba down the left flank to sq. the ball throughout the goalmouth, the place goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga let it slip by his arms and Pedri ensured Barcelona prolonged its successful streak to eight video games throughout all competitions.
Bojan Krkic reached 100 appearances for Barcelona in 2009 when he was 19 years, 2 months, 24 days outdated. Messi had been the second youngest to achieve the identical mark earlier than Pedri beat him. Pedri did so at 20 years, 2 months, 3 days. Messi was 20 years, 8 months, 3 days.
Girona, in twelfth place, did nothing in assault till a late push. Ivan Martín was left vast open in entrance of the purpose within the 86th, solely to volley a cross excessive and vast.
Girona coach Michel was despatched off in stoppage time with a direct crimson card for vehemently protesting what he thought was a foul on considered one of his gamers.
“We made a huge effort and played a good game,” Michel stated. “We only threatened them two or three times, but they only had that one chance that they converted. With what we saw on the field the defeat is not fair.”
Borja Iglesias transformed an 86th-minute penalty to grab a 1-0 win at Getafe and finish a three-game shedding streak throughout all competitions for sixth-placed Real Betis.
Youssef En-Nesyri scored twice to guide Sevilla to a 3-0 win over last-place Elche, which performed with 10 males after Pedro Bigas was despatched off close to the top of the primary half.
Cadiz additionally beat Mallorca 2-0 to maneuver out from the relegation zone.
Source web site: www.thehindu.com