Barcelona survived a late scare to defeat Osasuna 2-1 in La Liga on Sunday, September 3.

Osasuna came into this game with two wins and a loss in their first three games of the season. Their most recent league game was a 2-1 overtime victory against Valencia away from home. Manager Jagoba Arrasate chose a solid squad knowing it would be a difficult game.

In contrast, Barcelona won two and drew one of their three games. Their most recent game was a back-and-forth thriller against Villarreal, which they won 4-3 after rallying from a 3-2 deficit. In order to stay up with Real Madrid, Xavi Hernandez chose a tough team for this encounter.

The visitors Barcelona dominated the ball for the most of the first half, with Osasuna having time on the ball here and there. Despite their domination, they only got three shots on target in eight tries.

The visitors didn’t score until quite late in the first period. The reigning champions lead 1-0 at halftime thanks to Jules Kounde’s goal off an assist from Ilkay Gundogan.

The second half was even more uninteresting than the first, with both sides managing just one shot on goal and scoring from it.

Chimy Avila came up first, after Jesus Aruso assisted him in drawing Osasuna level with Barca. The hosts were leading with just 10 minutes remaining. However, they experienced a disaster towards the end of the game when Alejandro Catena was issued a straight red and a penalty was granted.

Robert Lewandowski went up and scored to make the score 2-1. Barcelona hung on to earn all three points, so let’s look at the five big talking points.

#5. Barcelona was rewarded for their first-half dominance in almost every statistical category

With 73% possession in the first period, Barcelona dominated and seemed more likely to score. They lacked decisiveness in the final third, though, and an out-of-form Lewandowski did not help matters.

They played well for practically the whole half and scored right before the break.

#4. Osasuna performed well despite having little possessions

The hosts had very little to work with after keeping the ball for just 27% of the first half and 33% of the second half as they attempted the impossible. They had two shots on goal in the first period but were unable to score, while they scored with their sole shot on goal in the second period.

The hosts also defended well and played collectively to prevent Barcelona from getting into a rhythm and going wild.

#3. Xavi and Arrasate both made significant changes to their rosters

As the second half came to a close, both managers were keen to contribute to their team’s final outcome. They both made many adjustments in order to infuse more enthusiasm into their squads.

While this did not immediately improve the game, it did make it more open as players with fresh legs took over and widened the field.

#2. Osasuna scores a remarkable equalizer to force overtime

The hosts were keen to get back into the game after failing to register a single shot on target in the second half leading up to the goal. After various changes, they moved on and attempted to compete with Barcelona. This enabled them to create an equalizer out of thin air.

Chimy Avila scored with a wonderful curling attempt that rebounded off the post and into the goal after Jesus Areso sent a ball to him.

#1. Barcelona takes the lead and the game after a late red card

Late in the game, center-back Alejandro Catena was awarded a straight red card for a professional last-man foul on Lewandowski. With less than five minutes remaining in the game, the Pole went up to take the penalty kick and convert it, sending the traveling spectators into raptures.

However, there were also suggestions that Lewandowski dived to get an unfair advantage, with commentators and fans claiming that the referees still favor Barcelona. The fact that Osasuna had a player sent off exacerbated the situation.

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