Barcelona maintain five point La Liga lead with 2-0 win at Girona

Barcelona reestablished their five point lead at the top with La Liga with a routine 2-0 win at Girona on Sunday.

Goals from Nelson Semedo and Lionel Messi secured all three points for Ernesto Valverde's side, who bounced back from their midweek Copa del Rey defeat to Sevilla.

Portuguese international Semedo netted his first goal for the club on 8 minutes, sweeping home a loose ball inside the area, after Girona failed to clear their lines in defence.

The hosts had chances to equalise, with Marc Ter Stegen making two excellent saves from top scorer Cristhian Stuani, the latter of which required Gerard Pique to make a goal line clearance, as Pedro Porro looked to score from the rebound.

Girona's task was made even harder after the break as defender Bernardo Espinosa was sent off for a second booking, but they continued to push for a goal, with Ter Stegen again denying Stuani again. 

Messi put the game beyond their local rivals on 68 minutes, racing onto Jordi Alba's squared pass and chipping goal keeper Yassine Bounou from the edge of the box, for his 19th La Liga goal of the season. 

Barcelona could have made it three in the closing stages, with Bounou saving from Ivan Rakitic and Luis Suarez. 

Tags Lionel Messi Nelson Semedo