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Piratas lead Barca down the plank

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Piratas lead Barca down the plank

Cádiz moved out of the bottom three after beating Barcelona 1-0 in their first-ever victory at the Camp Nou, ending a run of seven consecutive La Liga wins for Xavi’s side.

Barcelona created an opportunity inside the opening three minutes when Ousmane Dembélé raced to the byline and saw his angled effort saved by Jeremías Ledesma, before teeing up Ferran Torres with a follow-up strike which was also kept out by the Cádiz shot-stopper. Barça were looking sluggish going forward, with Jordi Alba seeing his long-range attempt sail harmlessly over the bar.

Sergio González set up his side to frustrate their illustrious opponents, but were left to rue a golden missed opportunity when Lucas Pérez fired wide after being teed up by Rubén Sobrino in the box. Dembélé looked to take matters into his own hands with a mazy run into the box, only to see his subsequent shot pushed to safety by Ledesma. A disappointing opening 45 minutes marked the fifth consecutive first half that Barcelona had failed to score in.

That disappointment turned into disbelief three minutes into the second half when Pérez redeemed himself for his first-half miss, reacting quickest on the rebound after Marc-André ter Stegen saved two attempts from Sobrino following a superb ball into the box from Álex Fernández. It was a 50th La Liga goal for Pérez and his first in the competition for Cádiz.

Xavi’s men sought to push forward in a bid to restore parity, but were let down by erratic finishing, as Dembélé blasted a long-range effort over the target. The Frenchman then tried his luck with a free-kick, which Ledesma cleared away, before testing the Argentine again with a separate long-distance effort. ‘Los Piratas’ should have delivered a second hammer blow though, when Fernández shot wide from an unmarked position inside the box after being picked out by Iván Alejo.

González’s team saw out the remainder of the game to secure a 1-0 win, extending their unbeaten run against Barcelona to four games and moving them up to 16th. As for Barça, they remain second, but still face a fight to secure a Champions League place with only three points separating them from Real Betis in fifth.

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