Robert Lewandowski scored twice as Barcelona defeated Real Valladolid in a 4-0 convincing win.
It was a dominant first half display from Barcelona as the visitors struggled to get into the game. The Catalan giants showed their quality early on as Raphinha whipped in a great cross for Lewandowski to poke in on the stretch at the back post.
They then doubled their lead scoring a great team goal, Ousmane Dembele pulled it back to Pedri, who finished the chance clinically.
Xavi’s side continued to control the game after the break and Lewandowski netted his second brace in as many weeks. Dembele played him through and the Polish striker scored with a sensational back heel while being forced wide.
In the final minutes Lewandowski was unlucky not to grab a hat-trick, his shot came back off the crossbar following a brilliant save from Jordi Masip and substitute Sergi Roberto was on hand to tuck away for a fourth.
The win puts Barca up to second place with two wins and a draw with Real Madrid still to play tonight as they hope to match Real Betis, who also have a 100% winning record so far this season.
TALKING POINT – CONFIDENT BARELONA
It’s been a difficult few seasons for Barcelona, things have been hard off the pitch regarding finances and on the pitch the trophies have dried up. But Xavi is installing a feel good factor at the Nou Camp once again. He has spent heavily this summer but he has brought in quality. Raphinha was exceptional and in Lewandowski they have one of the best in the world up front. The whole system is geared towards the 34-year-old, in Raphinha and Dembele it’s constant crosses to him and via Pedri and Gavi their technique and late runs joining the attack make them so difficult to deal with. The team’s performance tonight was fantastic. Valladolid struggled from minute one and four goals doesn’t flatter Barca at all. They are ready to challenge Real Madrid for the title.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI
It’s impossible not to choose him yet again. Dembele picking up two assists came close as did Raphinha but he was subbed off after an hour but Lewandowski is a genius. His first goal required exceptional movement to meet the cross. He positioned himself between centre-back and full-back, the Valladolid defenders didn’t know who should pick him up. His second was even better, perhaps his back heel took a deflection but to even have the belief to try it is incredible. Masip was left rooted to the spot not expecting the shot after he was shuffled wide. It’s important to remember he brings more than just goals. His link-up play with the midfield and wingers were exceptional as were his unselfish runs that provided shooting chances for the likes of Pedri, Dembele and Ansu Fati.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen 8, Araujo 8, Kounde 8, Garcia 7, Balde 6, Busquets 7, Gavi 7, Pedri 8, Raphinha 8, Dembele 9, Lewandowski 9.
Subs: De Jong 7, Fati 7, Roberto 7, Kessie 6, Torres 6.
Real Valladolid: Masip 7, Perez 6, J.Sanchez 5, Fernandez 5, Escudero 5, Monchu 4, Kike 5, Aguado 4, I.Sanchez 5, Anuar 6, Guardiola 6.
Subs: Mesa 6, Plano 6, Leon 5, Villa 5, Arroyo 5.
24’ – GOAL (LEWANDOWSKI) – It has been coming and of course it was going to be Lewandowski. Raphinha whips in a quality cross into the corridor between defence and goalkeeper that is in-swinging with his left foot from the right-wing. Lewandowski is on the stretch and pokes it into the back of the net as the defenders ball watch.
43’ – GOAL (PEDRI) – Araujo defends a counter attack so well and they fly up the pitch. Dembele cuts in and rolls a great ball into Pedri across the box. His run from deep isn’t picked up and the youngster fires it beyond Masip, unstoppable and it’s just great play from Barca.
65’ – GOAL (LEWANDOWSKI) – Lewandowski nets his fourth of the season and what a goal it is. Dembele cuts in and plays a through ball to Lewy. He goes too wide then tries a back heel that deflects of Joaquin and goes into the back of the net. Was it a pass? Was it an effort at goal? It’s Lewandowski, he probably meant it.
90’ – GOAL (ROBERTO) – Lewandowski nearly has three but Roberto scores. The Polish star has his shot saved by Masip pushing it onto the bar. It then falls to Sergi Roberto who can’t miss.