10-man Barca beat Osasuna to ensure La Liga leadership during World Cup

FC Barcelona won 2-1 away to Osasuna on Tuesday night to ensure they will go to the World Cup break as leaders of La Liga ahead of Real Madrid.

Raphinha’s 85th-minute goal gave three vital points to Barca in a game that looked beyond them when they found themselves 1-0 down and with a player less after half an hour in Osasuna’s El Sadar Stadium.

David Garcia put Osasuna ahead with a powerful header from a corner in the sixth minute of the match, reports Xinhua.

Barca were reduced to 10 men just after the half-hour, when Robert Lewandowski, who had already seen a yellow card for a strong challenge after 11 minutes, saw his second yellow after leading with his elbow against Garcia.

Gerard Pique’s La Liga career came to an end at halftime without him kicking a ball when he was sent off by referee Gil Manzano for his protests.

Pedri drew Barca level in the 48th minute when he fired home from a loose ball in the Osasuna area and although Kike Garcia went close with 11 minutes left, Raphinha won the game when he latched onto Frenkie de Jong’s pass to beat Iker Fernandez with five minutes left to play.

Athletic Bilbao moved temporarily up to third, thanks to a 3-0 win at home to Valladolid, which helped to bury some of the ghosts of Friday’s defeat in Girona.

Gorka Guruzeta was the hero for the home side, with a goal after 18 minutes after Valladolid had started brightly.

The visitors had a decent penalty appeal for handball turned down before halftime, before Guruzeta netted his second goal in the 52nd minute after Mikel Vesga had won the ball on the edge of the Valladolid area.

Athletic dominated the second half and central defender Dani Vivian scored the third with a powerful header following a free kick.

Elche go into the World Cup break without a coach and bottom of the table with just four points from 14 games after a 2-1 defeat at home to Girona, who climbed away from the danger zone with their second win in five days.

Elche opened the scoring through Pol Lirola, but Ivan Martin’s header levelled before halftime and Valentin Castellanos assured the points from the visitors with a near post finish in the 68th minute.

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