Barcelona, Sep 17 (EFE).- More than two years later, Barcelona returned to sleep at the top of the table, after the comfortable victory against Elche (3-0), again with Robert Lewandowski (two goals ) as a stiletto and against a rival who paid for the expulsion of Gonzalo Verdú after a quarter of an hour.
Xavi Hernández’s team did not need his best version, because Francisco’s plan (5-4-1) fell apart when he was left with ten men. Barcelona amassed the game, tame the rival and took the victory with more ease than was seen in the first half hour.
And it is that the difference is Lewandowski, author of eight goals in the first six LaLiga games, eleven in total with the three scored in the Champions League. The Pole appears in the area like a conjurer, gives away goals and spaces, so far he has been unstoppable.
It sounds ‘a cappella’ and from the south goal: “Rooobert Lewandowsskiii” to the rhythm of “The Flintstones”. Barça’s nine smiles, bumps his knuckles and celebrates, one, two… He is the image of this Barça, capable of scoring after a magnificent shot, by position on the field or even by intuition.
And that today it was difficult for Barça to get into the matter. Elche locked the game and the azulgrana lacked fluidity. With de Jong and Pedri at the helm, the five changes introduced by Xavi with respect to the match in Munich were not clear due to the defensive density of the Elche and the lack of speed in the movement of the locals.
Only Ousmane Dembélé, who was a father last morning, appeared on the right to give depth to his team. The match was broken by an action by Frenkie de Jong, who enabled Lewandowski. Gonzalo Verdú grabbed the Pole and was sent off.
From that moment (min. 14), Elche’s plan fell apart and Barcelona began to arrive. With patience, but without pause. Dembélé (20 and 25), De Jong (23 and 26) and Memphis (24) were close to scoring, but Edgar Badia became the best of his team.
At that time, the only possibility that Elche saw of entering the game was through the expulsion of Frank Kessié, who had a yellow card and touched the second, but it did not occur.
Barça opened the can in minute 34, in a collective action that ended Lewandowski at the second post after an assist from Balde (min. 34), seven minutes later, Memphis Depay, in a buoy play, controlled his back, changed the ball on foot and scored 2-0 to certify the victory.
Before the end of the first half, even Pedri scored a goal, canceled for offside. The 3-0 was again the work of Lewandowski, after picking up a rebound in the area after a play by Dembélé, which Memphis did not close in the 48th minute.
Half an hour from the end, Bellerin, Raphinha and Ansu came into play; Lewandowski could still score some more, before being replaced by Ferran Torres, but Edgar Badia once again exhibited his class.
The victory allows Barcelona to add its fifth victory in six games and climb into the leadership of LaLiga, at the expense of the Madrid derby tomorrow, Sunday. Since the azulgrana were not leading the championship, 27 months have passed.
3 – Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Koundé, Araujo, Eric Garcia (Bellerín, min. 59), Balde; Kessié (Gavi, min. 46), Frenkie de Jong, Pedri; Dembélé (Raphinha, min. 59), Lewandowski (Ferran Torres, min. 72) and Memphis (Ansu, min. 59).
0 – Elche: Edgar Badia; Palacios, John Chetauya, Gonzalo Verdú, Bigas (Diego González, min. 78), Clerc; Raúl Guti (Nico, min. 52), Gumbau, Tete Morente (Ponge, min. 68), Fidel (Quina, min. 52); and Boyé (Josan, min. 68).
Goals: 1-0, min. 34: Lewandowski. 2-0, min. 41: Memphis. 3-0, min. 48: Lewandowski.
Referee: Muñiz Ruiz, Galician committee. He showed yellow card to Kessié (min. 5), Bigas (min. 29), Nico (min. 70) and Ferran Torres (min. 73). He expelled Gonzalo Verdú (min. 14) and the Elche coach Francisco (min. 44) with a direct red card.
Incidents: 85,073 spectators attended the match, in a LaLiga matchday six match played at the Spotify Camp Nou.