Barcelona climbs top in Spain after Lewandowski double
Relentless striker Robert Lewandowski pounced twice as Barcelona hammered 10-man Elche 3-0 to move a point clear at the top of La Liga on Sept. 17.
The Polish forward continued his sensational form since joining from Bayern Munich this summer, taking him to 11 goals in eight appearances across all competitions.
Real Madrid boasts a 100 percent record after five games but was to face city rival Atletico Madrid away in yesterday’s derby.
So this was a chance for Barcelona to provisionally depose the champions and they seized it.
“We’ll sleep as leaders for the first time in two years,” said Barca coach Xavi Hernandez. “We’ve done our homework and got the three points. We’re on the right path.”
Xavi rotated in midfield after the Champions League defeat by Bayern Munich on Sept. 13, with Frenkie de Jong and Franck Kessie stepping in, while Memphis Depay was handed a rare start in attack.
Elche, bottom of the table, made the job significantly easier for the host when Gonzalo Verdu hauled down Lewandowski as he burst through on goal after 14 minutes and was swiftly dismissed.
Barcelona racked up the chances and inevitably Lewandowski broke the deadlock after 34 minutes.
Memphis doubled the lead with a sharp individual turn and powerful strike which flew past Edgar Badia, and Pedri added a third shortly before half-time but it was disallowed for offside.
Barcelona only had to wait three second half minutes for it, with Lewandowski pouncing on a loose ball in the box and finishing clinically to put the game far beyond Elche’s reach.