Barcelona defeated Real Sociedad 1-4 with a ruthless second half performance.
The match got off to a flying start when Robert Lewandowski scored his first goal for the Catalan giants just 43 seconds into the game. Barca broke down the left via Alex Balde who squared it to the Polish striker and he ruthlessly put it into the bottom corner.
It took La Real just minutes to respond though, Frenkie de Jong was robbed in possession and David Silva found Alexander Isak running in behind. His chipped effort was helped as it took a deflection off Eric Garcia looping into the net to equalise.
Barca were being held until the moment Ansu Fati came off the bench, his brilliant back-heel set up Ousmane Dembele to score to regain the lead.
Pedri then picked out Fati with a stunning pass and the youngster then rolled a first-time ball into Lewandowski for him to finish a chance that is easy for a player of his quality.
Barcelona then added gloss to the result as Lewandowski returned the favour setting up Fati for goal number four.
Xavi’s side move up to 5th with the win.
TALKING POINT – ARE BARCA BACK?
It was a disappointing and frustrating 0-0 draw with Rayo Vallecano last week but Barcelona were at their brilliant best in the second half in San Sebastian. They simply turned on the style and the hosts could not cope with their quality as Lewandowski and Fati took control of the game to seal three points. It’s been a tough couple of years for Barcelona, things did not go to plan under Ronald Koeman, they lost Lionel Messi and with the financial issues everything was beginning to unravel.
But, Xavi is now in charge and he has splashed the cash this summer. Robert Lewandowski will no doubt be a Barca hero and score goals for fun and with the likes of Pedri, Fati and Gavi they can challenge for the title. They have strength in depth too, new signings Raphinha was on the bench and Jules Kounde is still not available. Catching Real Madrid will be tough but with more performances like that second half display they will believe they have a chance.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI
Honourbale mention to Fati as he was the catalyst forcing the rampant three second-half goals – just because he has been injured for so long don’t forget how good he is. However, on just his second Barcelona start it’s tough not to give the award to Lewandowski. On his 34th birthday he showed no sign of age, he is a goal machine and has the ability to always be in the right positions. He made his goals look simple but that is because of his amazing movement. You can tell Xavi is setting up his team and building it around the ex-Bayern Munich star, he will fight Karim Benzema for the golden boot.
Real Sociedad: Remiro 5, Elustondo 6, Zubeldia 5, Le Normand 5, Munoz 5, Zubimendi 6, Merino 7, Mendez 6, Silva 8, Kubo 8, Isak 7.
Subs: Navarro 6, Turrientes 6, Cho 6, Gorosabel 6, Karrikaburu 6.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen 7, Araujo 5, Christensen 5, Garcia 6, Balde 7, De Jong 6, Pedri 8, Gavi 6, Dembele 7, Ferran 6, Lewandowski 9.
Subs: Fati 9, Raphinha 7, Alba 6, Kessie 6, Roberto 6.
1’ – GOAL (LEWANDOWSKI) – It’s the birthday boy with his first goal in a Barca shirt – Lewandowski. Barca break, Pedri finds Balde charging down the left and he squares it for the Polish No.9 who guides it into the bottom corner with his weaker foot.
5’ – GOAL (ISAK) – De Jong is robbed in possession in his own half and Silva slides a good through ball to the through on goal Swedish striker. Isak is a tad wide but his strike takes a deflection off the trying to block Garcia and loops over the keeper. 1-1.
66’ – GOAL (DEMBELE) – One word – brilliant! A fantastic team goal, Raphinha fires one into Fati in the middle on the edge of the box. Seemingly without looking he back heels it onto Dembele who rifles it in to the far corner.
68’ – GOAL (LEWANDOWSKI) – They are running away with it now and who else but Lewandowski? Pedri with an eye of the needle ball into Fati who is central again. He squares it first time to Lewandowsk and he doesn’t miss those chances.
66’ – GOAL (FATI) – He returns the favour. Lewandowski sets up Fati and he scores. Raphinha fires it into Lewandowski, who pokes it through to Fati, he is 1 vs 1 with the keeper and he slides it into the bottom corner.