Barca win, Madrid stay perfect in La Liga

(L-R) Robert Lewandowski of FC Barcelona, Fernando of Sevilla during the La Liga Santander match between Sevilla v FC Barcelona at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on September 3, 2022 in Sevilla Spain.


Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha and Jules Kounde have shown why Barcelona mortgaged part of their future for them by producing goals in a commanding 3-0 win at Sevilla in La Liga.

Lewandowski made it five goals in four appearances since moving from Bayern Munich, ex-Leeds winger Raphinha scored his first for Barcelona, and Kounde provided two assists against his former club to secure a third straight league win on Saturday.

Barcelona climbed into second place, two points behind Real Madrid who ended Real Betis’s perfect start after beating Seville’s other club 2-1 in the Spanish capital.

Barcelona turned the momentum from the 18th minute when Lewandowski chipped the ball over goalkeeper Yassine Bounou, Fernando cleared off his line but it fell to Raphinha to nod home.

Lewandowski, who has failed to score only in his debut, doubled the lead when he controlled a long ball from Kounde with his chest, and without letting it touch the ground, swept it home with his right foot.

Eric Garcia added a third goal in the 51st when Kounde generously headed down a cross by Raphinha for his fellow defender to tap in.

“It’s not only the goals, but how he wins high balls; he is a wonderful outlet,” Xavi said about his Polish striker Lewandowski.

“He is a fantastic player with his sense of timing.

“He is helping us a lot with his leadership, with the things you don’t see when you watch the game, how he helps the staff and his teammates. It is amazing to have him on the team.”

Sevilla, who finished fourth last season, remained winless with one draw and three defeats.

Young Brazilian forwards Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo proved the difference for Madrid again in a meeting of the top two teams through the first month.

Madrid made it four wins in as many matches, while Betis were left three points behind in third.

Carlo Ancelotti (133) moved into third place on Madrid’s list of coaches with the most career victories, only trailing Miguel Munoz (357) and Zinedine Zidane (172).

Before kickoff, Madrid’s players presented the Champions League trophy and the recently won UEFA Super Cup to their fans in their first home game of the season. The club played the first three rounds on the road as renovation work continues on their Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.

Betis hadn’t lost at Madrid in five seasons, winning two and drawing three while not conceding a goal, but that drought was broken after just nine minutes.

Elsewhere, halftime substitute Sadiq Umar scored five minutes into his debut for Real Sociedad in the 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid.

Alvaro Morata opened the scoring early for his third goal since returning from a one-season loan at Juventus, while Girona and Mallorca drew 1-1.


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