Pedri hails Barcelona's 'home run' new signings as La Liga resurgence continues

Catalans claim a 4-0 win over Athletic Bilbao at Camp Nou to move up to fourth in the standings

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored for a third game in a row after opening the scoring in Barcelona's 4-0 La Liga win over Athletic Bilbao. AFP
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Barcelona midfielder Pedri has praised the club for "hitting a home run" with the January signings of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Adama Traore, and Ferran Torres after the 4-0 La Liga win against Athletic Bilbao in La Liga on Sunday.

Former Arsenal captain Aubameyang scored for the third game in a row, opening the scoring in the 37th minute after netting a rebound from a Gerard Pique header off the bar.

The second goal came in the 73rd with a fantastic finish by substitute Ousmane Dembele, who made peace with the Barca fans and received a standing ovation after almost leaving the club in January due to his reluctance to renew his contract.

The French forward received a long pass from Frenkie de Jong just outside the box, cleared a defender and fired a bullet of a shot that flew past the goalkeeper into the top left corner of the net.

Dembele provided assists for the third and fourth goals, in stoppage time. First, he crossed perfectly to Luuk De Jong, who scored with a header, then, in the final play of the game, to Memphis Depay, who stroked in a volley from close range.

Xavi Hernandez's team climbed to fourth place in the standings with 45 points, 15 behind leaders Real Madrid, and while their title hopes appear all but over, Barca's current form is a vast improvement from the start of the season.

"We are enjoying winning, Xavi gave us a new energy and he is giving great advice to the youngsters," 19-year-old midfielder Pedri told reporters.

"The new signings like Aubameyang, Adama Traore and Ferran Torres have given us a boost, the club hit a home run with them. We are enjoying ourselves right now."

With Athletic facing Valencia in the Copa del Rey semi-final on Wednesday, Marcelino Garcia rested several players on Sunday. Barca took advantage of the situation by running their opponents ragged as they extended their unbeaten run to seven matches in all competitions, including a 4-2 win at Napoli in the Europa League.

Updated: February 28, 2022, 8:32 AM