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Barcelona bounce back like real leaders: The Champions League pain now hurts a little less

There are matches that shape a league campaign. Tuesday's match at El Sadar could be one of them - there was a lot at stake, Barcelona was looking to consolidate their lead and take advantage of Real Madrid's defeat in Vallecas.

It was an ugly start. Osasuna took the lead scoreboard and after half an hour, still behind, Robert Lewandowski went to the dressing room for a second yellow card.

Few would have bet on Barcelona at that moment. However, Xavi Hernandez's team reacted like true champions. They played a spectacular second half and at no time did they seem to be a player down.

Lewandowski discute con Gil Manzano después de ser expulsado.

Lewandowski discute con Gil Manzano después de ser expulsado.EFE

Xavi's team controlled the game. Pedri's goal a few minutes after the restart gave them confidence. Frenkie de Jong and Pedri led a group that kept their shape and did not let themselves be overwhelmed.

Then the madness came with five minutes to go with Raphinha's goal. An extremely important goal that leaves Barcelona in top spot until next January, regardless of what Real Madrid does in their last game before the break.

From pessimism to euphoria

The Champions League exit hurts a little less. Three weeks ago, pessimism had hit with the elimination from Europe's top competition. The Blaugrana had taken a big blow.

However, the team has been able to compete very well in LaLiga Santander and has managed to overcome that blow. First came the victories against Villarreal and Athletic Club, two very tough opponents, then came the agonizing win against Valencia in the final moments and this Tuesday's victory against Osasuna.

A win with a player fewer

The win at El Sadar was the most complicated of all because it came against a team with an extra player. It was a reaction that showed character and everyone worked hard for this victory.

Even Gerard Pique showed his own commitment by protesting to the referee until he was sent off, on what should have been his last game for the club.

The post-match dances in the dressing room were justified.

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