Lewandowski grabs much-needed goal
Robert Lewandowski proved to be Barcelona’s match-winner against Osasuna after bagging a much-needed goal.
It had looked like being another frustrating evening for the Poland international. He’d missed two good chances to score in what seemed to be another tame showing.
However, Lewandowski did finally break the deadlock just before the hour. Ilkay Gundogan slipped him in with a great ball, and this time he took a fine touch and came up with a clinical finish.
Lewandowski now has two in his last two games for Barcelona, against Barbastro and Osasuna, and has also scored in all three of his Spanish Super Cup appearances.
The veteran striker is also something of a lucky charm. Barca have not lost in 26 of the 31 games in which Lewandowski has scored, as shown by Opta.
5 - @FCBarcelona have not lost in 26 of the 31 games in which @lewy_official scored in all competitions (83.9% - W24 D2), with the last defeat involving a goal by the Polish striker on December 10 in 2023 against Girona in LaLiga. Finalist? pic.twitter.com/n2j3RHcF1G— OptaJose (@OptaJose) January 11, 2024
Lewandowski still doesn’t look quite his usual self but Barca will be hoping this can be the start of a goalscoring run for the striker, particularly with the small matter of a final against Real Madrid up next.
Welcome back Pedri!
Pedri made his return from injury against Osasuna, coming off the bench in the second half and making a real impact on the game.
There’s no doubt the Spain international has been missed in recent weeks, and he offered a reminder once again in his 29 minutes on the pitch of just what he brings to this Barcelona team.
| Pedri vs Osasuna in 29 minutes.— Barça Buzz (@Barca_Buzz) January 12, 2024
- 28 Touches.
- 14/14 Passes.
- 100% Passing Accuracy.
- 3/3 Dribbles. (Most)
- 1 Tackle.
- 1 Clearance.
- 1 Headed Clearance.
- 6/9 Ground Duels Won.
- 1/1 Aerial Won.
- 2 Fouls Won. pic.twitter.com/gdYzP2cpks
Xavi praised his performance after the match, as did MVP Frenkie de Jong who outlined why he loves playing with the youngster so much.
“Pedri is a player with extraordinary talent, someone that marks differences,” he said. “With the ball, he is so comfortable. Our play is more fluid when he’s on the pitch. You notice when he’s with us and we are very happy to have him back in the team.”
Xavi also said that Pedri is ready to start against Real Madrid, despite just being back from injury, a real boost for the Catalans ahead of a crunch game.
Another trophy on the horizon for Xavi
Barcelona’s win sets up a Super Cup final against Real Madrid once again and a real chance to kickstart what’s been an underwhelming season so far.
Xavi’s team seemed to fall apart after they lost to Los Blancos back in October in La Liga but have an opportunity to put that right on Sunday.
The Barcelona boss made it clear how important the Supercopa was to his side last season and so it proved. Victory over Madrid landed the boss a first trophy and infused the squad with the belief needed to go on and win the title.
Things are a little different this time around, with Barca already seven points off top spot, but Xavi’s side could certainly do with a confidence boost ahead of the second half of the campaign.
Barca may not have been at their best against Osasuna but there was a lot to like. Lewandowski scored, Pedri was back from injury, Inaki Pena kept a clean sheet and they finished it off with a great goal from Lamine Yamal.
Xavi’s side even managed to win a match by more than one goal for the first time since September 19, a run that spans almost four months and 20 games.
The coach has come under a little scrutiny over the last few weeks due to a drop in form and some poor performances, but a win on Sunday against Madrid and another trophy in his cabinet would strengthen his position once again.