Barcelona will finish the weekend in third place and continue to control their destiny in the La Liga Top 4 race thanks to a dominant 4-0 win over Osasuna at Camp Nou on Sunday night. Barça responded to an average performance in midweek with a sensational first half and more dominance in the second, scoring four very good goals, playing a complete game on both ends and even resting some key players. Perfect night.
Barcelona could have been accused of some complacency in the last couple of games, but there was none of that in the first half. The home team was at it from the very start, with every player showing urgency and playing with intensity with and without the ball. The midfield and front three were moving the ball and themselves quickly in the final third, and Osasuna had no answers for an electric Barça attack.
The performance was excellent, the attack was creative, the defense avoided any real trouble, and the goals came as well: it all started when Gavi was brought down by Vidal in the box, and Ferran Torres scored a perfect penalty to give Barça the lead; seven minutes later Ferran doubled his tally with a beautiful finish through the goalkeeper’s legs after a brilliant assist by Ousmane Dembélé.
Dembélé shined again for the third goal with a fantastic cross from the right to pick up a great run from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who showed his usual smarts and composure in front of goal to volley home the third. Barça still had a couple of chances to find a fourth, but had to settle for just the three-goal lead at halftime.
After a near-perfect first half, could Barça keep up the good work and finish the job in the second?
There was very little drama about the second half: Osasuna knew they were facing a superior team having a great night and barely offered any threat, almost looking to not concede a fourth instead of trying to score one of their own. Barça weren’t as breathtaking but continued to dominate the ball and attack, with Dembélé remaining a constant threat throughout the period.
As we reached the final 20 minutes and the game was clearly over, Xavi Hernández made some substitutions to rest a few of his big players and just run out the clock. But the team continued to look for goals, and substitute Riqui Puig scored a very good one off the bench to add a fourth and receive some love from his teammates and the Camp Nou crowd.
The final whistle came to give Barça a fourth straight league win as they stay in full control of their fate in the Champions League race. This is also a big boost of confidence ahead of a huge week with a decisive game in Europe and El Clásico, and this team continues to get better and stronger. Well done, boys!
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Alves, Piqué (Lenglet 62’), Eric, Alba (Mingueza 80’); Pedri (Puig 73’), Busquets, Gavi; Dembélé, Aubameyang (Memphis 73’), Ferran (Braithwaite 80’)
Goals: Ferran (pen 14’, 21’), Aubameyang (27’), Puig (75’)
Osasuna: Herrera; Vidal, García (Aridane 46’), Cruz, Ángel; Moncayola, Torró (Unai 46’); Benito (Budimir 68’), Martínez (Brasanac 73’), García (Torres 46’); Kike