Barcelona stunned by Cristhian Stuani brace

Barcelona dropped their first points of the season as Cristhian Stuani's brace secured Girona a 2-2 draw on Sunday.

See how the action unfolded at Camp Nou with our liveblog!

Barca seemed to be sailing after Lionel Messi's opener, but Stuani capitalised on a Clement Lenglet red card to give Girona the lead early in the second half, before Gerard Pique salvaged a share of the spoils.

Messi became the foreign player with the most appearances in La Liga history as he surpassed ex-teammate Dani Alves for his 423rd in a Blaugrana jersey.

He was joined in the XI by summer signings Lenglet, Arthur and Arturo Vidal, with Samuel Umtiti, Ivan Rakitic and Philippe Coutinho all dropping out.

Girona, meanwhile, came into the match on the back of successive wins against Villarreal and Celta Vigo but were thrashed 6-1 the last time they made the short trip to Camp Nou.

The second meeting between the two sides, scheduled for January 27, had been the subject of controversy as La Liga wanted it to be played in the US.

However, the focus was on Sunday’s encounter and it almost started with marvellous Messi goal as he left three Girona defenders on their backsides, yet his precise finish towards Bono’s bottom-right corner was turned around the post.

Nonetheless, Vidal shook off his marker in the visitors’ box, before expertly teeing up the No 10 for a side-footed finish into the Moroccan’s bottom left.

Luis Suarez almost made it 2-0 when he nutmegged Bernardo Espinoza to gain a clear sight of Bono’s goal in the area, but his curling finish was batted away by Bono.

Yet Barca’s defence was split wide open by a through ball, which Portu latched on to. The forward then rounded Marc-Andre ter Stegen, but his finish was knocked off the line by Pique.

Barely 24 hours after it correctly awarded Real Madrid a goal, the VAR intervened to send off Lenglet, who threw his elbow into the face of Pere Pons as the pair vied for a 50-50 ball.

It got worse for the Catalan giants before half-time as Stuani got the wrong side of Pique from a cross and snuck the ball past Ter Stegen.

Ousmane Dembele was sacrificed for Samuel Umtiti, yet Portu still managed to break clear from a through ball, preferring to shake off Pique than go down for the penalty.

His shot was blocked by Ter Stegen, but the German couldn’t do anything about Stuani blasting in the rebound from the edge of the box.

Ernesto Valverde introduced Ivan Rakitic and Philippe Coutinho on the hour mark, but it was only ever Messi who looked like bringing Barca back from the dead.

Indeed, the Argentine curled a free kick on to Bono’s bar, before the goalkeeper palmed away a second bite of the cherry.

The table-toppers did manage to equalise through Pique, who climbed highest to head into an empty net, but their lead on Madrid was wiped away as Coutinho couldn’t bend a late effort on target.

Barcelona 2-2 Girona

Messi 19, Pique 63, Lenglet sent off 35 (B) Stuani 45, 51 (G)

Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Arturo Vidal (Rakitic 58), Busquets, Arthur (Coutinho 58); Messi, Suarez, Dembele (Umtiti 46)

Girona: Bono; Bernardo, Alcala, Juanpe; Aday, Aleix Garcia (Borja Garcia 46), Pons, Granell (Douglas Luiz 72), Muniesa; Portu (Doumbia 85), Stuani

Referee: Gil Manzano