Home LALIGA Lewandowski helps Barca come from behind in La Liga.

Lewandowski helps Barca come from behind in La Liga.

by Jeff Carlisle
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Forward Robert Lewandowski scored a brace to help Barcelona secure a 2-1 victory over Alaves in the 13th round of La Liga on November 12.

Following their midweek defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League, Barcelona continued to disappoint as they trailed 1-0 to Alaves at halftime. Thanks to Lewandowski’s second-half brace – breaking his goal drought of six matches – the home team earned three points to stay in pursuit of Real and Girona.

Lewandowski converted a penalty to secure a 2-1 victory for Barcelona at the Lluis Companys Olympic Stadium on November 12.

Barcelona conceded in the 18th second, with forward Samu Omorodion seizing an opportunity from Javi Lopez’s assist. The 19-year-old talent troubled the home defense throughout the first 45 minutes and had at least three clear-cut chances. If Omorodion had been more clinical, the Alaves striker, on loan from Atletico Madrid, could have secured a first-half hat-trick.

Manager Xavi described the midweek loss to Shakhtar as Barcelona’s worst performance of the season. He may reconsider after witnessing the first half against Alaves. Barcelona’s midfield lacked cohesion without Gavi and Frenkie De Jong due to injuries and failed to create clear opportunities in the first half.

Jules Kounde, the weakest link in Barcelona’s defense in the first half, was shifted from center-back to right-back after halftime. This change proved effective early on. Eight minutes into the second half, Kounde delivered a cross to Lewandowski, who headed the ball into the net past goalkeeper Antonio Sivera, leveling the score at 1-1.

Barcelona completely dominated the game after the 53rd-minute goal but almost conceded again when Kounde headed the ball straight to Abdelkabir Abqar in front of the home goal. On the opposite side, Alaves goalkeeper Sivera played well, blocking several attempts from Barcelona. However, he couldn’t stop Lewandowski’s penalty in the 78th minute, which was awarded after Abqar fouled Ferran Torres in the box.

After a goal drought of six matches, Lewandowski scored a brace to end his over 50-day goalless streak for Barcelona. More importantly, the Polish forward’s two goals helped Barcelona recover from disappointments. With 30 points, Barcelona maintains a two-point gap with second-placed Real and a four-point gap with league leaders Girona, heading into the two-week break for the November FIFA Days.

The lineup:

Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Kounde (Balde 70′), Araujo, Martinez, Cancelo, Lopez (Raphinha 63′), Gundogan, Pedri (Romeu 81′), Yamal, Felix (Torres 70′), Lewandowski.

Alaves: Sivera, Gorosabel (Tenaglia 85′), Aqbar, Marin, R Duarte, Blanco (Mendes 85′), Guevara, Rioja (Rebbach 63′), Guridi (Hagi 79′), Lopez, Omorodion (Garcia 79′).

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