Villarreal 3-4 Barcelona: Robert Lewandowski scores winner in SEVEN-goal thriller for Xavi’s side… with the reigning champions coming from behind after throwing away a two-goal lead
- Barcelona threw away a two goal lead in the first-half of their trip to Villarreal
- Villarreal went ahead before Barcelona regained momentum to take the points
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Barcelona won a seven-goal thriller at Villarreal thanks to 16-year-old Lamine Yamal.
He has emerged as the unexpected replacement for Ousmane Dembele and he set up the first and the fourth to ensure Barcelona picked up all three points.
Last week he became the youngest player to ever start a league game in Spain aged 16 years and just 38 days.
Seven days older he was the star turn as Xavi, serving the second of a two game touchline ban, watched his team from behind glass up in the main stand of the Ceramica Stadium. They took the lead, threw it away, and regained thanks to the boy wonder.
Villarreal started well and Alexander Sorloth scored on five minutes but it was ruled out for offside.
Robert Lewandowski scored the winner for Barcelona in a seven-goal thriller away from home
Villarreal came from two goals down to take a 3-2 lead against Barcelona thanks to Alex Baena
Ferran Torres (left) came off the bench to draw Barcelona back level before Lewandowski’s winner
Lamine Yamal impressed on a day he became the youngest player to start a league game in Spain
Gavi headed in the opener for Barcelona on what looked like could be a comfortable afternoon
Gavi (right) celebrates with his Barcelona team-mates after putting his side one goal ahead
Frenkie de Jong doubled Barcelona’s lead just three minutes after Gavi’s opener
Barcelona reacted and Gavi scored with a header from Lamine Yamal’s cross from the right. It was an assist from a 16-year-old and a good finish from a 19-year-old.
Frenkie De Jong doubled the lead three minutes later with a fine team goal. He started the move playing the ball to Ilkay Gundogan who found Robert Lewandowski who played it back to De Jong to score.
Marc Andre ter Stegen kept Villarreal at bay with a fine save from Alfonso Pedraza bu he could do nothing about Foyth making it 2-1 on 26 minute heading in a corner.
And then came the goal of the first half from Villarreal. Sorloth started and ended a move that also involved Gerard Moreno playing Pedraza down the left. His cross was converted by the Norwegian.
Things worsened for Barcelona when five minutes into the second half Alex Baena scored into the far corner from Pedraza’s assist.
Villareal though recovered strongly with goals from Juan Foyth and Alexander Sorloth (pictured)
Baena celebrates with Sorloth after putting Villarreal ahead five minutes into the second-half
Torres (second right) scored an equaliser five minutes after replacing Oriol Romeu
Lewandowski’s first goal of the season earned Barcelona the victory in a hard-fought contest
What Villarreal needed now was a Samu Chukwueze or a Nico Jackson to hit Barcelona on the break but with the former now at Milan and the latter at Chelsea, Barça flooded forward without having to worry too much about the quick counter.
Substitute Ferran Torres scored on 68 minutes bulldozing through the middle and blasting past Filip Jorgensen. Villarreal were deflated now. They had over-turned a 2-0 to go ahead but back on terms there only looked like one winner.
And when Yamal tricked his way in from the right and bent a left foot shot on to the post. It was the second time he had hit the frame of the goal but this time the ball came out invitingly for Lewandowski to score the winner.
Xavi had a lot to think about from the stands after he was sent off against Getafe
Villarreal (4-4-2): Jorgensen; Foyth, Gabbia, Cuenca, Alfonso; Terrats (Comesana 70), Capoue (Suarez 70), Parejo (Diaz 86), Baena (Morales 77); Moreno (Akhomach 70), Sorloth
Goals: Foyth 26, Sorloth 40, Baena 50
Booked: Foyth, Terrats, Gabbia
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Roberto, Kounde, Christensen (Garcia 46), Alonso; Gundogan (Lopez 86), Romeu (Torres 63), De Jong; Yamal (Fati 76), Lewandowski, Gavi
Goals: Gavi 12, De Jong 15, Torres 68, Lewandowski 71
Booked: Yamal, Lewandowski, Garcia
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