Although the (lack) of competition has been decaffeinating the Catalan derby in recent years, there are players who are still turned on by the Barcelona classic. “For the culés it is an extra motivation”, Xavi Hernández had alerted in the previous duel. This is certainly not the case for Robert Lewandowski, scorer of two goals this Sunday at the RCDE Stadium that sealed the League title for Xavi Hernández’s boys. The Pole is concerned about other things. He occupies, basically, the usual thing: the goal. And the striker took advantage in the one-on-one with Benzema to stay with the Pichichi. He already has 21 (31 this season) and left the Frenchman from Real Madrid four, who has signed 17 nets.
Pacheco, Brian (Luca Koleosho, min. 84), Cabrera, Óscar Gil, Sergi Gómez (Javi Puado, min. 45), César Montes, Darder, Melamed (Edu Expósito, min. 86), Denis Suárez (Calero, min. 45), Braithwaite (Adrià Pedrosa, min. 55) and Joselu
Ter Stegen, Koundé, Ronald Araújo (Alba, min. 62), Alex Balde, A. Christensen (Marcos Alonso, min. 74), Busquets, Pedri (Kessié Franck, min. 89), Frenkie De Jong, Lewandowski, Gavi ( Ansu Fati, min. 74) and Raphinha (Ousmane Dembélé, min. 62)
goals 0-1 min. 10: Lewandowski. 0-2 min. 20: Alex Bucket. 0-3 min. 40: Lewandowski. 0-4 min. 53: Koundé. 1-4 min. 72: Javi Puado. 2-4 min. 92: Joselu.
Referee Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea
Yellow cards Koundé (min. 1), Gavi (min. 38) and Alba (min. 81)
In the Barcelona squad, in any case, not all are established footballers who landed at the Camp Nou with the poster of a media star, a magnet for fans from all over the planet. And there are few better cases than that of Alejandro Balde to understand what the rivalry between the two greats of Catalonia means. If the fierce competition between Barça and Espanyol today only makes sense in the lower categories, the speedy full-back knows it like no one else: he has worn both shirts. When he was still hesitating between athletics and football, while playing for Sant Gabriel, Balde was offered to La Masia. In Barcelona, at that time, they did not see it clearly. Espanyol, quickly, caught him for his lower categories. He lasted a single year dressed in blue and white. Albert Puig, at that time coordinator of the Barca youth academy, took him to Sant Joan Despí. And what always happens in these cases happened to him: “His dream of him was to play for Barça”, they say from the side’s environment.
The truth, however, was that while the Espanyol players, with relegation on their heels, jumped onto the field scattered, distant in pressure, empty of intensity in the second plays, Balde jumped onto the field ready to become the master. and lord of the left wing. And he got it. The blue and white fans still hadn’t honored Dani Jarque in the 21st minute and the Barcelona side had already put the league title in Xavi’s hands. First to break Óscar Gil and leave the ball served to Lewandowski, then to sign his first goal of the season.
The excitement over the pulse between the League title and relegation took as long as it took for Balde to appear. “We have sealed LaLiga with a fantastic game. We have been brilliant. The team has relaxed at the end and they have been proud. We have won LaLiga in a derby, which is not normal. It was a scripted scenario and we talked about it before the game. It gives us security to believe in the project. The work is there. We have been brilliant in the game in some matches, ”he noted. Captain Sergio Busquets, who celebrated his last title as a Barça player, added: “I wanted to leave winning titles. And more with one as important as the League, which is that of regularity. The one we set ourselves from the beginning. I’m very happy to go like this. I have had a lot of recognition. I have been there for many years, I have had records and I am happy to be able to go out like this ”.
“Winning four days from the end means that we have done well. Let’s see if it’s the first of a splendid stage”, President Joan Laporta added. And he looked at his coach: “Xavi has been decisive. Apart from the knowledge of soccer, he has those of the institution and that of style. He has worked a lot so that we can offer quality football. He has been decisive. We have a great coach. We are very happy”.
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