Polish striker Robert Lewandowski scored both goals for Barcelona, the defending champion, and led it to a difficult victory over its guest Alaves 2-1 in the 13th round of the Spanish Football League on Sunday.
Lewandowski broke his goal drought with his goals in the 53rd and 77th minutes, in response to the guests’ lead goal through his young striker, Samu Omordion (19 years old), just 18 seconds after the starting whistle. The last time was on September 23, when the player scored two goals in a 3-2 victory over Celta Vigo in the sixth round.
Barcelona raised its score to 30 points, moving away from third place behind its chaser, Atletico Madrid, fourth with 25 points, who will play later against Villarreal.
Barcelona is 4 points behind Girona, the surprise leader this season, and 2 points behind its arch-rival Real Madrid, who is in second place.
“Barca” returned to winning ways after losing in the Champions League to Shakhtar Donetsk 0-1 in the fourth round, and before that in the Spanish Clásico against Real Madrid 1-2 in the 11th round, including a difficult victory over Real Sociedad 1-0 in the last round.
Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez made 6 changes compared to the Donetsk match, most notably keeping Gavi, Ferran Torres and Brazilian Rafinha on the bench, and inserting Pedri, Fermin Lopez, Al-Amin Jamal and Portuguese striker Joao Felix.
The brilliant Robert Lewandowski leads Barcelona to victory over Alaves.
— LALIGA (@LaLigaArab) November 12, 2023
The referee had barely blown the starting whistle when the Catalan team conceded at home after only 18 seconds, after the ball was cut off from German Ilkay Gundogan and reached Javier Lopez, who passed it to Okorodion inside the area, who followed it up with a shot that passed between the feet of German goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Barcelona equalized at the beginning of the second half after a joint play between Al-Amin Jamal and Frenchman Jules Kounde on the right side, and the latter passed a cross towards the penalty mark, which Lewandowski headed into the net (53).
The defending champion snatched the three points after a mistake by Moroccan defender Abdelkebir Abkar on substitute Torres, causing the referee to award a penalty kick, which Lewandowski executed powerfully in the middle of the goal, deceiving goalkeeper Antonio Severa, who dived to the left (77).
The post first appeared on www.aljazeera.net