Yahoo Sport
2022-11-24

Robert Lewandowski scored two stunning goals as Barcelona beat Villarreal 3-0 at Camp Nou to bounce back from El Clasico disappointment.

Barca lost their first clash with bitter rivals Real Madrid thisseason on Sunday, but they quickly shook off that defeat as Villarreal were swept aside on Thursday.

Three first-half goals in a seven-minute spell left the Yellow Submarine all at sea, with Lewandowski netting a couple of brilliant efforts before Ansu Fati ensured it was essentially game over before the break.

Villarreal never threatened any kind of turnaround, as Xavis side eased the pressure that had started to build following a run of just one win in four games.

After a frustrating opening half-hour, a moment of magic brought about the first goal with 31 minutes on the clock.

Pedris wonderful pass released Jordi Alba and his subsequent low cross found Lewandowski, whose backheeled first touch took three Villarreal players out of the game and set up a simple finish.

A few moments later, Lewandowski did the damage from further out, curling his 25-yard effort beyond Geronimo Rullis reach.

There was a bit more fortune about Fatis goal, though.

After a brilliant Ferran Torres run and cut-back, Fati should have tapped in, but his scuffed attempt came back off the post and allowed him to backheel over the line.

Chances largely dried up in an uneventful second half, but Raphinha should have made it 4-0 when guiding Ousmane Dembeles cross wide from close range.

The Brazilians miss ultimately counted for nought, however, as Barca saw the second half out comfortably.

What does it mean? Business as usual for Barca

October has been a chastening month for Xavi and Barca, who took just one point from two Champions League clashes with Inter before suffering a 3-1 defeat in the Clasico.

That spell even led to talk about Xavis future, with the coach acknowledging he will not keep his job for long if the Blaugranaare not successful.

However, they made light work of Villarreal, and impressively so given Unai Emerys side had only conceded three times in their previous seven games across all competitions.

Three shots, three shots on target, two goals that is pretty efficient. That description probably fails to do Lewandowski justice, however. The Polandstrikers first-half brace was sensational and showcased his range of abilities wonderfully.

If Villarreal were going to leave Camp Nou with a result, they would likely have needed their forwards to be lively.

However, the Yellow Submarines attackers struggled throughout. Arnaut Danjuma only managed one shot and 12 touches before his half-time withdrawal.

- Barcelona have won their last four LaLiga home games without conceding they won four straight games at home in the competition without conceding in June 2020 under Quique Setien.

- Villarreal have conceded three or moregoals more times in a single game against Barcelona in LaLiga (19) than against any other team in the competition (15 v Real Madrid).

- Villarreal have not won any of their last five LaLiga away games (D2 L3), failing to score in all of them, having won in their previous four trips in the competition. Indeed, the last time they went five away games without scoring in the top-flight was in September 2011 (D2 L3).

- Robert Lewandowski has scored two goals from outside the box this season in all competitions (14 games), as many as in his previous whole campaign for Bayern Munich (2 in 46 games).

- Frenkie de Jongwon 10 duelsagainst Villarreal (10/10), more than any other player in a single game in LaLiga with a 100 per cent success ratethis season.

Barcelona welcome Ernesto Valverde now in charge of Athletic Bilbao again back to Camp Nou on Sunday, while Villarreal host Almeria the same day.

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