BarcelonaFew images are more beautiful in football than the look on the faces of the little ones as they enter the stadium, possibly wondering if they will be lucky enough to see a goal from Robert Lewandowski. They are lucky, because the Pole is a punctual man in his rendezvous with the goal. The new Barça has converted the Camp Nou into a party where families feel good and see how their little ones open their eyes with excitement at being able to see in action a team that has risen from the blow received in Munich just as the projects do with the solid foundations: with another triumph in the League, today a placid thrashing against an Elche sunk at the bottom of the classification and condemned to fight to avoid a thrashing in a stadium that once again commands respect.
Football has these things. The same space can become the theater of dreams for millions of people, but for rival players it looks like an inquisition cell, where you know you will have to suffer a long torture. The more hungry and ambitious Barça are, the higher the walls of the stadium seem to their rivals, despite the fact that one of the historic markers is now missing, demolished to make way for a future symbolized on the grass by players like Pedri . The young canary is the apple of Xavi’s eyes. His sentence is to always play. He is so good, he makes everything so easy, that no coach wants to do without him. The fans who filled the stands with an unthinkable entrance not so long ago, when it was difficult to get the culers out of the house, let themselves be carried away by Pedri’s seductive rhythm. Tenerife seems to have the power to stop time, in this Barça full of players who, in the eyes of boys and girls, are like superheroes from a comic book. Lewandowski is like a giant metal robot, infallible. Dembélé has the ability to sprint faster than anyone else, and Pedri stops time. He did so in the first goal of the game, when out of the corner of his eye he saw Alejandro Balde coming up the wing and waited for the right moment to hand him the ball. Lewandowski was responsible for scoring another goal. It’s his power, this one. To be the person with the most marksmanship south of the Pyrenees.
Kessie, playing with fire
Thanks to his two goals – he already has 11 in 8 games – and the magic of Pedri, Xavi’s Barça will be able to watch the Madrid derby on television installed at the top of the standings, with options to be leaders now that this little break in the calendar. Against Elche, little history. The illegal team were left with 10 men from the start when Gonzalo Verdú tried to stop Lewandowski like a rugby player, and only Kessie’s dangerous tendency to play with open arms and distribute more than one punch in the face of the rivals has given excitement to the match. Xavi, who would surely have wanted to give Gavi more minutes of rest in the week in which the young Andalusian has signed his first contract with a first-team card, was forced to bring him on at half-time, lest Kessie I ended up seeing the red one.
Against the leather, and after Munich’s effort, it was the day to continue making rotations to add to the cause some of the players who until now were luxury spectators on a bench where Piqué and Jordi Alba kick it, aware that this it is the season in which a cycle ends. Xavi blindly trusts in an Alejandro Balde who continues to advance with a firm step and distribute assists, with sensations that are increasingly close to those of the best Jordi Alba of the past. His connection with Pedri has worked so well that the first two goals were created by the two of them. The first was finished by Lewandowski. The second, Memphis, who invented a prodigious goal, spinning on himself like a basketball player before smashing the ball.
Xavi has especially removed the midfield and the attack to avoid injuries or long faces. Kessie didn’t do too well, Memphis did. Frenkie de Jong, moving around the area of the field where his Sergio Busquets have been for 15 years, has had ups and downs, in a match where it didn’t take a brilliant performance to get the job done in the fast lane . At the break everyone knew that Xavi would make quick changes and Elx would try to continue wasting time to end this long agony. Lewandowski took charge of scoring the third, maintaining a statistic that seems to be from another era, from the black and white times when other geniuses came to Barça from Eastern Europe, in this case from Hungary. Xavi ended up giving him a break and changing an entire offensive zone where Dembélé, who just became a father, didn’t have the day, despite hitting stones time and time again. Neither have they been able to take advantage of their minutes, Ansu and Ferran, two of the players who continue to look a little sad. Not everyone can play, in this great family party that Camp Nou has become. A stadium where the Blaugrana people, excited, have returned.
- FC Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Kounde, Ronald Araujo, Eric Garcia, Alejandro Balde (Bellerín, 60′); Frenkie de Jong, Kessie (Gavi, 46′), Pedri; Ousmane Dembélé (Raphinha, 60′), Robert Lewandowski (Ferran Torres, 71′) and Memphis (Ansu Fati, 60′). Coach: Xavi Hernandez
- Elx: Edgar Badia; Helibelton Palacios, Bigas (Diego González, 77′), John Nwankwo, Gonzalo Verdú, Carlos Clerc; Gerard Gumbau, Raúl Guti (Federico Fernández, 58′), Tete Morente (Josan, 66′), Fidel (Quina, 58′); i Lucas Boyé (Ponce, 66′). Coach: Francis
- Gols: 1-0 Lewandowski (34′), 2-0 Memphis (41′) i 3-0 Lewandowski (48′)
- Referee: Alejandro Muñiz Ruiz (Galician Committee)
- Yellow cards: Kessie (5′), Bigas (28′), Fernández (70′) and Ferran Torres (73′)
- Red cards: Verdú (14′) and Francisco (45′)
- Stadium: Spotify Camp Nou (85,073 spectators)