Cristhian Stuani struck twice at Camp Nou as Girona battled to a deserved 2-2 draw away to Barcelona, who saw their perfect LaLiga record end after Clement Lenglet's first-half red card.
Lionel Messi gave Barca the lead in the 19th minute and the champions looked set to collect a fifth straight league win before Lenglet was dismissed on his first league appearance for Barca following a VAR review.
Stuani levelled with a fantastic finish before half-time and five minutes after the restart the striker was on target again to give Girona hope of recording a famous victory.
But Gerard Pique rose highest in the penalty area to head home and salvage a draw for Barcelona, who move back above rivals Real Madrid into top spot despite dropping their first points of 2018-19.
Girona created the first clear chance in the fifth minute but Bernardo Espinosa headed an Aday Benitez corner into the arms of Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Bono brilliantly denied Messi at the end of a dazzling solo run but he could do nothing about the Barca captain's opener, a fantastic first-time finish from 14 yards out after Arturo Vidal's fine work.
Barca were reduced to 10 men when Lenglet saw red following a VAR review, the defender having caught Pere Pons with his elbow, and Girona quickly made their man advantage count.
Benitez raided down the right wing and fed Stuani, who turned away from Pique and makeshift partner Sergio Busquets to slot a neat finish past Ter Stegen.
And Stuani put Girona into a shock lead in the 51st minute, slamming home a rebound after Ter Stegen had saved well from Portu.
Messi clipped the crossbar with a 30-yard free-kick before Pique drew Barca level with a clever header that set up a thrilling finale during which Ernesto Valverde's men were unable to break Girona's resistance.
What does it mean: Squad rotation backfires
Valverde left Barca stars Samuel Umtiti, Ivan Rakitic and Philippe Coutinho on the bench and while he could not have predicted Lenglet would see red in the first half, the decision did not pay off. Barca have to manage their squad the same way as anyone, but the champions have given up their two-point lead atop the table with Madrid drawing level thanks to their narrow defeat of Espanyol on Saturday.
Stuani continues to shine
Uruguay international Stuani outscored stars including Gareth Bale and Antoine Griezmann in LaLiga last season with 21 strikes and he has started 2018-19 in a similar vein of form. The former Middlesbrough striker has already hit five goals this season, more than anyone else in the division, and he deserved to be on the winning team.
Lenglet shows immaturity on debut
Given a rare opportunity to shine with Umtiti rested, Lenglet is unlikely to get another chance any time soon after his first-half red card. Even with the benefit of replays it was hard to tell whether there was any real malicious intent in his block on Pons, but he gave the referee a decision to make by thrusting out his arm in an unnatural manner. After consulting VAR, Jesus Gil Manzano felt Lenglet's foul deserved a red card.
Key Opta stats:
- Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has scored in each of his 12 LaLiga seasons (24 goals for Barcelona and two for Real Zaragoza).
- Stuani is the first player to score a brace against both Real Madrid and Barcelona in LaLiga in a calendar year in the 21st century.
- Bono made nine saves against Barcelona, the highest total by a goalkeeper in a LaLiga game this season (level with Tomas Vaclik against Levante)
- Barcelona are unbeaten in their last 39 La Liga home games (W32 D7), their longest run at Camp Nou in the competition since their 40 unbeaten home games between October 1991 and November 1993.
A midweek round of LaLiga games sees Barcelona travel to Leganes on Wednesday and on the following day Girona host Real Betis.
|Kenyan Drake on Miami Miracle: I couldn´t let Gronk tackle me!|
|Ronaldo: I deserved Ballon d´Or, the numbers don´t lie|
|Rugby Australia to make Cheika decision this month|
|England defender Gomez signs new Liverpool deal|
|Ronaldo wants to see Messi follow him to Italy|
|Neymar happy to play in any position for PSG - Draxler|
|Paine insists he is ´fine´ after taking blow to finger|
|Ponzio: River players will be ´idolised´ for Libertadores success|
|Champions League permutations: How Inter, PSG and Liverpool can progress|
|Kohli: India were better and deserved to win|
|Bears shut down Goff, Rams|
|India survive dramatic finish against Australia|
|Klopp calls for electric Anfield atmosphere against Napoli|
|Saints clinch back-to-back NFC South titles, Bears trump Rams|
|Bucks improve to 2-0 against Raptors with win in Toronto|
|Black Caps include Patel for Sri Lanka Tests|
|Maidana: River want Real Madrid clash|
|Cowboys top Eagles in OT behind stellar Cooper display|
|AC Milan evaluating Fabregas signing – Leonardo|
|WATCH: Steelers´ chance at game-tying field goal slips away|
|Hayne will plead not guilty to charges, says lawyer|
|Boca boss Schelotto: The only thing I feel is sadness|
|Cardinals´ Fitzgerald makes NFL history with most receptions for one team|
|River Plate´s Copa Libertadores star Gonzalo Martinez confirms January departure|
|Klopp: I was never worried about Salah´s form|
|Packers QB Rodgers sets NFL record for most passes without an interception|
|World Cup bulking hampered Man United form – Lukaku|
|Leonardo rules out Ibrahimovic Milan return|
|Warriors´ Green to return against Timberwolves|
|I feel for him… we´ll make it work – Butler responds to Embiid´s frustration|
|Torino draw no missed opportunity for misfiring AC Milan, claims Gattuso|
|We´ll always be linked together forever - Wade reflects on playing with James before final match-up|
|O´Sullivan wins record seventh UK title|
|Chiefs secure playoff berth, Saints win NFC South|
|River Plate 3 Boca Juniors 1 (aet, 5-3 agg): Quintero and Martinez clinch Libertadores title in extr|
|WATCH: Chiefs QB Mahomes throws no-look pass|
|Dolphins defeat Patriots on miraculous final play|
|Kizzire eagle snatches QBE Shootout victory|
|AC Milan 0 Torino 0: Donnarumma shines, Cutrone misses late chance|
|Back to the drawing board for West Indies - Chase|
|Copa Libertadores: Messi and Griezmann among stars in Madrid for River-Boca Superclasico|
|Brady sets NFL record for most career TD passes|
|Copa Libertadores: Tevez named on Boca bench for Superclasico final|
|Premier League needs VAR, right now! - Benitez fumes over Dean´s decisions|
|McCall expects Itoje to fit for the Six Nations|
|Solari salutes Real Madrid character after ´ugly´ Huesca win|
|Berbatov defends under-fire Lukaku|
|Sarries crush Blues to maintain unbeaten start|
|Newcastle United 1 Wolves 2: Doherty punishes Yedlin red with late winner|
|Deeney jokes he´ll ´smash´ former Watford star Richarlison|
|Huesca 0 Real Madrid 1: Bale ends drought as Solari´s men edge to victory|
|Ponting: Umpires not looking at no-balls|
|Bale ends longest LaLiga goal drought|
|Porter backs Brees for MVP, Saints for Super Bowl|
|Verstappen eyeing 2019 title fight|
|Wall ´shouldn´t have played´ against Cavaliers after scoring just one point|
|Hazard: Man City the best team in the Premier League despite Chelsea win|
|LeBron explains why he gave a Grizzlies employee his game-worn shoes|
|Bangladesh cruise to ODI victory as seamers punish Windies|
|Football will win over violence, claims CONMEBOL president|
|Alcorcon support Reus Deportiu over unpaid players|
|Saponara explains cheeky celebration after last-gasp leveller|
|Godin and Filipe Luis return to Atletico training|
|Kick It Out condemns alleged racist abuse of Sterling|
|Emotional Oosthuizen clinches South African Open title|
|The Sunday Seven - 7 Key Opta facts for NFL Week 14|
|Martino salutes Atlanta´s grand plan|
|India´s tail must show greater application - Bangar|
|Mourinho: Diogo Dalot can be new Gary Neville|
|Sterling hits out at media coverage of black players|