La Liga 2022-23 Highlights MD 18 as Real Madrid was held off in the goalless draws by Real Sociedad despite playing at home, while Barcelona needed Pedri’s moment to seal 3 points away during the Catalan derby.
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Girona 0-1 Barcelona
Pedri was the match winner in the Catalan derby as the midfielder scored the only goal to grab Barcelona’s 3 crucial points.
Girona has never been an easy opponent for Barcelona and the MD 18 was no different.
Barcelona’s Xavi made four changes to the team which beat Sociedad in the Copa del Rey. No Ferran Torres and Robert Lewandowski meant that Raphinha and Ousmane Dembele would take charge of the attacking orders.
The home team had the game’s first chance through Yann Couto, while Barca had better ball possession rates without creating any danger.
Injured Dembele had to be subbed before the half-hour mark by Pedi, which was some worrying sign when La Liga this season reaching crucial stage.
Subbing Jordi Alba in the second half was vital decision for Blaugranas with the veteran pressed from his wing and combined to create winning moment for the visitors.
Pedri made a run inside the penalty area to meet Alba’s cross after the hour mark, which was his third goal in four games. It was a night to remember for the Spanish star when he was on hand to turn home the winner on his 100th appearance for the club.
Girona pushed for an equaliser later on but Barca held strong to secure a 14th clean sheet in 18 league games, thanks to another fine performance of Stegen.
More importantly, they moved six points clear at the top of LaLiga while waiting for Real Sociedad to frustrate reigning champion Real Madrid.
Real Madrid 0-0 Sociedad
Barca’s victory away against Girona put pressure on Los Blancos when the gap was then 6 points.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side were dominant during the whole game with superb soccer, chances but the goal never came.
Vinicius Jr had three clear-cut openings but beaten in the duel with Sociedad’s Alex Remiro. The keeper’s good save in the second half was honorably mentioned which kept one valuable point for the visitors.
Before and after half-time were the periods that Benzema, Toni Kroos and others bombarded but unable to find the net.
Former Real Madrid Take Kubo was a real threat for La Real in the latter stages of the second half but he was unable to celebrate when Thibaut Courtois was there to save.
Real Madrid, who are now five points adrift of Barcelona at the top of La Liga must keep up by not slipping in coming games ahead of the El Clasico. Real Sociedad, meanwhile, don’t manage a sixth straight league win but will be more than happy with continuing their unbeaten run.
Barcelona haven’t dropped many points this season, so, that’s worth a note, too.
The league will be back with mid-week actions in MD 19 when Real Madrid and Barcelona continue the title race.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side host Valencia on Thursday, 24 hours after Barça travel to Real Betis.