Barcelona secured a 2-1 victory over Alaves in LaLiga on Sunday, with Robert Lewandowski scoring both goals. This win came as a relief for Barcelona, who had suffered two losses in their previous three games across all competitions. Despite the victory, Barcelona remains in third place with 30 points, trailing behind Real Madrid by two points and surprise leaders Girona by four points.
Alaves took an early lead when their 19-year-old striker, Samu Omorodion, scored just 18 seconds into the match with a close-range strike following a quick counter-attack. This goal was a result of a mistake by Ilkay Gundogan, who lost the ball in midfield. Barcelona was fortunate to go into halftime only one goal behind.
The first half was a struggle for the champions, with poor ball control and sloppy passes. Alaves had several opportunities to extend their lead but failed to capitalize on them. Samu, in particular, missed a clear chance in the 30th minute after stealing the ball from defender Jules Kounde but firing well over from close range.
Barcelona’s manager, Xavi Hernandez, made a tactical change in the second half, moving Kounde from center-back to right fullback. This decision paid off as Barcelona regained control of the game. In the 52nd minute, Lewandowski equalized with a powerful header from a perfect cross by the French defender.
Barcelona continued to dominate the game, and in the 77th minute, Alaves defender Abdelkabir Abqar fouled Raphinha inside the box, resulting in a penalty. Lewandowski calmly converted the penalty, securing the victory for Barcelona.
Xavi expressed his concerns about Barcelona’s recent performances, stating that they need to be self-critical and improve their gameplay. He believes that the upcoming international break will provide an opportunity for reflection and hard work to correct their mistakes. Xavi remains optimistic and confident in the team’s talent and determination to come back stronger after the break.
In other LaLiga action, Atletico Madrid sits in fourth place with 25 points and has two games in hand on the leaders. They will face Villarreal later on Sunday.
Overall, Barcelona’s victory over Alaves was crucial in their pursuit of the top spot in LaLiga. The team acknowledges the need for improvement and is determined to bounce back stronger in the coming weeks.
Reporting by Fernando Kallas Editing by Toby Davis and Ken Ferris.
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