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Pique rescues Barca, Ronaldo on target for Juve

BARCELONA-Gerard Pique rescued 10-man Barcelona in a pulsating Catalan derby against Girona after Clement Lenglet was shown a red card at the Nou Camp.

Barca were leading 1-0 when defender Lenglet was dismissed in the 35th minute for elbowing Pere Pons.

Girona levelled through Cristhian Stuani before the Uruguay forward rifled the visitors into the lead.

Despite playing with 10 men, Barca carved out the better chances and Pique headed the equaliser.

The Spanish champions lead La Liga on goal difference from Real Madrid, who beat Espanyol 1-0 on Saturday.

Ernesto Valverde’s team were the last side in La Liga with a 100% winning record after taking 12 points from their opening four domestic games.

They beat Girona 6-1 in the corresponding fixture last season and were expected to maintain their winning start to the campaign.

However, the dismissal of Lenglet swung the match in Girona’s favour.

The French defender, who was making his first league start for the club after joining from Sevilla, raised his elbow at Pons.

The referee left the pitch to view the replay of the incident on a screen before returning to show a red card.

Barca, who face struggling Leganes on Wednesday, continued to dominate possession and this will feel like two points dropped despite playing more than half the game with 10 men.

This is a result which Girona fans will remember for years to come.

As recently as 2007 they were playing in the fourth tier of Spanish football.

There will be disappointment they did not hold on to their lead with an extra man advantage but they survived as Barcelona bombarded their penalty area in the closing stages in search of a winner.

Girona included two players on loan from Manchester City – Spanish midfielder Aleix Garcia started while young Brazilian midfielder Douglas Luiz came on as a substitute.

English forward Patrick Roberts, who is also on loan from City, was an unused substitute.

in the Italian Serie A, Cristiano Ronaldo struck nine minutes from time to break Frosinone’s resistance and help Juventus maintain their 100% start to the season.

The Serie A champions rarely troubled keeper Marco Sportiello on what was proving to be a frustrating night for the team and their £99m signing.

But in the 81st minute, the Portuguese forward finally found the net with a firm strike from eight yards.

And in stoppage time, Federico Bernardeschi fired in the second goal.

Even though the visitors had 72% of possession, the scoreline somewhat flattered the Serie A giants, who only managed eight shots on target from 30 efforts.

Ronaldo had looked the most likely to score in the first half, testing Sportiello’s reflexes with two angled drives.

Alex Sandro’s second-half strike from inside the area, which whistled a foot past the Frosinone post, was the only other effort of note aside from the two goals.

The win moves Juventus three points clear of second-placed Napoli in Serie A. Frosinone, promoted from Serie B in May, remain in 19th spot with one point from five games. BBC

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