Robert Lewandowski scored twice as Barcelona bounced back from their painful El Clasico defeat with a 3-0 win over Villareal.
Barcelona bounced back from their painful Clasico loss in style as they cruised to a 3-0 home LaLiga win over Villarreal with a brace from Robert Lewandowski on Thursday. Barcelona remained second in the standings on 25 points, three behind Real Madrid and three clear of third-placed Real Sociedad, who have won their last five league games and eight consecutive wins in all competitions.
Manager Xavi Hernandez said he was going to shake things up and he kept his word, making five changes to the team completely outclassed in their 3-1 loss at Real Madrid on Sunday. That was another major blow to Xavi and his team who are on the verge of Champions League elimination after a 3-3 home draw with Inter Milan last week.
“The changes are not to point fingers at anybody,” Xavi told a news conference. “On Sunday (against Athletic Bilbao) I will make more changes. I want all players to be ready and 100 percent for when the opportunity comes. We need intensity and will. We need to react quickly after two bad results and I think we made a great game tonight.”
Teenager Ansu Fati shone for Barca on Thursday as he created three great early chances before Lewandowski opened the scoring in the 31st minute. The Polish striker controlled the ball brilliantly from a low cross by Jordi Alba and shook off two defenders with a subtle touch before swivelling to finish with a powerful shot.
Barcelona scored three times in seven minutes as the Polish striker increased the lead with a precise curling shot from the edge of the box to finish off a counter-attack after Pedri stole the ball close to the centre circle.
Lewandowski has scored 11 goals in 10 LaLiga matches for Barcelona this season and is the league’s top scorer, four goals ahead of his nearest rival. Fati, 19, scored Barca’s third three minutes later, placing a close-range shot into the empty net from a low cross by Ferran Torres.
With the points secured, Barca took their foot off the gas after the break but comfortably held on to their lead. “The most important thing is the win. The team always come first,” Ansu Fati told Movistar Plus. “Of course, I want to play, to start and get back in shape. I’m ready, I feel good and I’m available to help the team if the coach needs me.”