Winning at Sevilla ‘good sign’ for Barcelona: Xavi

Coach praises team after they bag 3-0 win in La Liga to stay on Real Madrid’s heels

AFP September 04, 2022


Robert Lewandowski scored again as Barcelona defeated Sevilla 3-0 in La Liga on Saturday, while Real Madrid made it four wins from four with victory over Real Betis.

Barcelona rode their lucky early on at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan as Marc-Andre ter Stegen denied Ivan Rakitic and Youssef En-Nesyri before the visitors struck against the run of play.

Raphinha headed in the rebound after Lewandowski's dinked effort was cleared off the line, but the Poland star didn't need long to get on the scoresheet himself.

Lewandowski controlled a flighted pass from Jules Kounde on his chest and volleyed past Bono for his fifth league goal in four appearances.

Eric Garcia tapped in Barcelona's third five minutes after half-time after Raphinha's cross was nodded across goal by Kounde, who was sold by Sevilla for 50 million euros ($49.8 million) this summer.

"It was a very good match overall, we dominated and even had chances to score more," Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez told Movistar.

"We're going through a good period. Winning 3-0 at Sevilla is a good sign."

Barcelona, who host Viktoria Plzen on Wednesday in the opening round of Champions League group games, are two points behind Madrid, but Sevilla have just one point so far.

"The situation we find ourselves in is a bit difficult," said Sevilla midfielder Rakitic.

"I ask forgiveness for the results, but also for confidence and patience. We have full confidence in our coach (Julen Lopetegui)."

Vinicius Junior struck for the third game running as Madrid took an early lead at the Santiago Bernabeu, but Sergio Canales soon equalised with a goal against his former club.

Rodrygo secured a 2-1 win for Carlo Ancelotti's side just past the hour with his first goal of the campaign, ending Betis' perfect start.

"He's a special forward because he can play in any position. He's very quick and very intelligent without the ball," Ancelotti said of Rodrygo, now in his fourth season with Real.

"The apprenticeship is over and now he's a Real Madrid player in every way."

Next up for the European champions is a trip to Celtic in the Champions League.

"The most important game of the first part of the season is coming up on Tuesday. We're going to be taking on a team that's on a fantastic run and it's going to be very difficult," said Ancelotti.


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