Barcelona earned a 1-0 win over Mallorca in LaLiga on Saturday, in what was a far feistier affair than the Catalan membership might need anticipated. Robert Lewandowski scored the lone purpose, having now netted in six of seven league video games this season.
The outcome sees the Blaugrana climb to the highest of the desk, one level forward of Actual Madrid, who’ve a recreation in hand. Los Blancos host Osasuna on Sunday with an opportunity to leapfrog Barca.
1. Lewandowski shines once more, with the assistance of Ansu
Lewandowski’s high quality as soon as once more made the distinction as Barcelona maintained their unbeaten begin to the LaLiga season.
The Poland striker has helped change the mentality at Barca along with his management and work ethic, however it’s his capacity to seek out the online that has considerably improved Xavi Hernandez’s aspect. His purpose towards Mallorca was the proper instance. There gave the impression to be little on when he collected a move from Ansu Fati within the twentieth minute, however he in the reduction of to beat his man earlier than unleashing a low arrowed shot into the underside nook.
With that purpose, Lewandowski grew to become the quickest participant to attain 9 objectives in LaLiga within the twenty first century, with these objectives coming in simply seven appearances. He has 12 in all competitions in simply 9 video games.
Ousmane Dembele and Raphinha are often the forwards chosen to flank Lewandowski, however Xavi handed Ansu a primary begin within the league this season at Mallorca. The 19-year-old continues to be clearly feeling his means again from a long-term harm however his reference to Lewandowski is promising. After establishing the first-half purpose right here, the 2 have now mixed for 3 objectives within the league this season, greater than another duo.
2. Xavi’s patchwork defence stands agency as schedule picks up
The journey to Mallorca marked the beginning of a troublesome run of 12 video games in LaLiga and the Champions League for Barca earlier than the World Cup. Xavi would have been despairing as he noticed Jules Kounde and Ronald Araujo, each regulars in his again 4, get injured through the worldwide break, with summer time signing Hector Bellerin additionally added to the harm record this week.
Subsequently, with a double-header towards Inter Milan in Europe and a visit to face Actual Madrid in LaLiga to return earlier than Oct. 16, Xavi has to give you options in defence if he desires to maintain out the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Vinicius Junior.
In opposition to Mallorca, he made the shock choice to subject left-back Alejandro Balde, who continues to be simply 18, at right-back in what was a primary clue into what Xavi could also be pondering forward of Tuesday’s recreation in Milan. Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba each additionally got here again into the aspect having misplaced their locations this season.
Andreas Christensen accomplished the again 4, however Marcos Alonso, Eric Garcia and transformed midfielder Sergi Roberto are prone to get loads of minutes because the video games come thick and quick for Barca over the following 5 weeks.
3. Mallorca proceed to point out combat in 2022-23
When the mud settles, Mallorca will take quite a lot of positives from Saturday’s slim defeat to Barca, as they’ll have performed once they have been overwhelmed by Madrid on the Santiago Bernabeu final month.
Mexican coach Javier Aguirre, who got here in and stored them up on the final day of final season, has constructed a staff who’re troublesome to beat, particularly at house. However for Lewandowski’s sensible purpose, Barca didn’t create as a lot as they might have favored — and it is a Barca aspect which have scored three or extra objectives of their previous 5 league video games.
Mallorca didn’t simply defend, both. They created probabilities of their very own and if not for Marc-Andre ter Stegen, they might have grabbed a draw. The German goalkeeper made good saves from Jaume Costa and Antonio Sanchez as he moved previous the 500-minute mark with out conceding a league purpose, bettering his earlier greatest run for the membership.
Even in stoppage time, Mallorca have been nonetheless pushing, however Lee Kang-In‘s late strike fizzed throughout purpose and broad as Barca, nearly, bought over the road.
Barcelona: Marc-Andre ter Stegen 8, Alejandro Balde 7, Gerard Pique 6, Andreas Christensen 6, Jordi Alba 6, Sergio Busquets 6, Gavi 7, Franck Kessie 5, Ousmane Dembele 5, Robert Lewandowski 7, Ansu Fati 6
Finest and worst performers
BEST: Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Barcelona. Barca gained this recreation within the two containers, so it was a toss-up between goalkeeper Ter Stegen and match-winner Lewandowski.
WORST: Ousmane Dembele, Barcelona. The French ahead has been wonderful for Barca this season, however that has solely served to extend expectations. The following step is to attempt for consistency. This was a uncommon off night time.
Highlights and notable moments
It is not sufficient that Lewandowski is scoring at an outrageous fee, he is contributing inch-perfect finishes like this one.
THIS TURN AND FINISH FROM LEWY 😤 pic.twitter.com/7BQQAoEl1O
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) October 1, 2022
Most of social media was in awe of that purpose.
My phrase, pure class from Lewa…
— Gabriele Marcotti (@Marcotti) October 1, 2022
What a purpose. That Polish Ian Rush actually is absurdly good
— Sid Lowe (@sidlowe) October 1, 2022
After the match: What the managers, gamers stated
Xavi: “It will not be proper to elucidate every part with Ter Stegen and Lewandowski, there may be extra to it than that. Though it is clear that they’ve made the distinction tonight. Marc is in spectacular type. And Robert is a world-class purpose scorer, perhaps one of the best on this planet.”
Jaume Costa: “It is a disgrace. It was a whole efficiency but we do not have a constructive outcome. We deserved extra after the best way we performed. Aguirre’s mark is a Mallorca aspect that fights. Sadly we couldn’t maintain the clear sheet to get a minimum of a degree.”
Key Stats (supplied by ESPN Stats & Data)
– Lewandowski now has 9 objectives in LaLiga and 12 in all competitions. The one participant in certainly one of Europe’s Massive 5 leagues with extra is Erling Haaland of Manchester Metropolis, with 11 within the Premier League and 14 throughout all competitions.
– Barcelona have gained 18 straight LaLiga video games wherein it has held a lead. The final time the Catalan membership failed to take action was on Feb. 13, once they have been held to a 2-2 draw by neighbours Espanyol.
– This was Barcelona’s fifth straight clear sheet in LaLiga, one thing the membership has not achieved since April and Could of 2016.
Mallorca: The Palma-based membership get a bit of further relaxation earlier than they head to Alicante to tackle Elche within the league every week from Monday.
Barcelona: The Blaugrana have simply two full days of relaxation earlier than they return to motion within the Champions League on Tuesday, visiting the San Siro for a group-stage showdown with Internazionale. The Catalans’ subsequent LaLiga contest is every week from Sunday, once they welcome Celta Vigo to Camp Nou.