Barcelona 2-1 Alaves: Robert Lewandowski scores twice
Barcelona 2-1 Alaves: Robert Lewandowski scores twice as hosts come from behind after conceding in just 17 seconds
- Samu Omorodion opened the scoring in the first minute of the match
- Robert Lewandowski levelled the scores with a brilliant header after half-time
- The striker then converted from the spot to seal the three points for his side
A Robert Lewandowski double saved Barcelona’s blushes after the conceded after just 17 seconds at home to Alaves.
Lewandowski has been criticised of late but with a glorious header from Jules Kounde’s cross he got his team back into the game and his spot-kick saved Xavi from the two week inquest that would have followed an embarrassing defeat in the last game before an international break.
Even with the win there will be an inquest of sorts – why were Barça so bad in the first half hour of the game?
Their start to the game was bemusing. From kick-off the ball was played back to Inigo Martinez and he launched it long and hopefully, forward. When it was headed clear the loose ball ran to Ilkay Gundogan who was quickly robbed by Alaves midfielder Jon Guridi. He played it wide to Javi Lopez down the Barcelona right.
Barça right back for the afternoon was Ronald Araujo but he had been part of the charge forward from kick-off and his position was being covered by left-back for the afternoon Joao Cancelo. Lopez crossed before Cancelo got across to him and Samu Omorodion beat Martinez to the ball and scored past Marc Andre ter Stegen. There were 17 seconds on the clock.
Robert Lewandowski scored twice as Barcelona beat Alaves on Sunday afternoon
Lewandowski drew his side level with a brilliant header shortly after the half-time break
It was a kick-off that asked so many questions: why the desire to play a long ball forward so early? Why the desire for Barcelona’s best defender Araujo to have an offensive role.
Samu is on loan from Atletico Madrid and the 19-year-old could easily have made it 2-0 but the next time he was sent racing clear he sent his shot wide.
Barcelona were by now starting to create chances. Lewandowski was set up by Gundogan but Antonio Sivera saved his shot.
The decision to play Arajo at right back was looking dafter by the minute with Samu bullying Kounde but then fluffing his one-on-one with Ter Stegen firing over. He could have had a hat-trick in the first half hour.
Lewandowski then gave Barcelona the lead from the penalty spot with 12 minutes to go
Before half time Xavi corrected the error moving Kounde out to right back with Araujo moving into the centre of defence. It steadied things defensively and it helped bring he equaliser on 53 minutes.
It was the French defender’s cross that Lewandowski rose majestically to power past Sivera. It was a brilliant header and a reminder that for all the criticism levelled at the Polish forward his lack of goals owes more to a shortage of crosses than to his own failings.
With 20 minutes left Xavi’s patience ran out with Joao Felix and he came off with Feran Torres coming on. The Atletico loanee looked unhappy but the change worked almost immediately.
Samu Omorodion celebrates after breaking the deadlock just 17 minutes into the game
Barcelona’s players celebrating after the closing the gap to league leaders Girona
Torres was brought down by Abdel Abqar on 77 minutes and Lewandowski stepped up to score the penalty. He had turned the game around and as he celebrated his seventh league goal of the season he seemed to be urging the crowd inside the Olympic Stadium to get behind the team more.
They had had little to cheer for large parts of the game but thanks to Lewandowski they could celebrate a win on the final whistle despite late scares including Nahuel Tenaglia’s shot whistling just wide on 92 minutes.
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