Lewandowski scores well as Barca beat Valladolid 4-0

Robert Lewandowski continued his strong start at Barcelona by scoring twice for the second game in a row when Jules Kunde made his debut in a 4-0 win over Real Valladolid in La Liga on Sunday.

A quintessential poaching finish from the Polish star at 24 minutes started Barca before teenage midfielder Pedri added a second at the Camp Nou just before half-time.

Lewandowski struck again just after the hour, scoring four goals in three games since his trumpeting summer arrival from Bayern Munich, with Sergi Roberto scoring late on the net.

Barca jumped to second place with seven points from three games, two behind Real Betis. Real Madrid will try to keep their perfect start to the season at Espanyol later on Sunday.

Xavi Hernandez gave Kounde his first start after the club was finally able to register the French defender they acquired from Sevilla last month for a reported €50m ($49.8m).

After a goalless draw on the opening weekend, Barca last time put four goals past Real Sociedad, and the Catalans started similarly with Lewandowski coming close with an early header.

Lewandowski got an in-swinging throw from Raphinha, his flashy effort hit the post and bounced off Valladolid goalkeeper Jordi Masip before coming to safety down the line.

Pedri then saw Raphinha’s run from behind, but the Brazilian was thwarted by Masip, who was beaten well moments later when Ousmane Dembele’s poisonous shot hit the crossbar.

Barça’s pressure finally became apparent when Raphinha landed another teasing cross and caused confusion in the Valladolid defense who punished a gambling Lewandowski by stabbing home.

A marauding Dembele tested Masip from afar, then created the second for Pedri by rolling a perfectly weighted ball in front of the midfielder to bury with a first side foot finish.

Lewandowski nearly put the game out of reach in 64 minutes, running on a pass from Dembele and cleverly backing past Masip using a deflection from Joaquin Fernandez.

Valladolid almost pulled one back, but Marc-Andre ter Stegen made a good save from Oscar Plano and Kunde stuck a leg out on the line to keep out Roque Mesa’s follow-up attempt.

Ansu Fati forced Masip to make a sharp stop after coming off the bench, but Barca took fourth in stoppage time when Roberto hit a volley home after Lewandowski was denied a hat-trick after Masip’s shot hit the crossbar.

Villarreal dropped their first points of the season in a 0-0 draw at Getafe as Unai Emery’s side saw the award of a penalty void after a VAR assessment in the final stage.

AFP

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