Barcelona victory at Sevilla a 'positive sign' as 'fantastic' Lewandowski scores again

Xavi pleased with his team's start to La Liga season and attention now turns to the Champions League

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Xavi Hernandez believes Barcelona's 3-0 victory at Sevilla on Saturday night is a "positive sign" of his team's progress as the Catalans extended their unbeaten start to the season.

Robert Lewandowski scored his fifth goal in four La Liga games, with fellow new boy Raphinha and defender Eric Garcia both adding a goal each for the visitors at the Ramon Sanchez Pijzuan.

The win lifts Barcelona to second place in the table on 10 points, two behind leaders Real Madrid. For Julen Lopetegui's team, however, it was their third defeat in four games, leaving them with only one point in 17th place.

“We didn’t start well in the first 15 minutes, but then as soon as we settled in, we dominated the game and had chances to score more goals," Xavi said. "This victory is a good sign, we’re in a good moment.”

Roared on by their fans at a sold-out Sanchez Pizjuan stadium, Sevilla enjoyed an impressive start, pressing Barcelona high and cornering their rivals.

But the visitors silenced the crowd in a lightning counter attack in the 21st minute, ending with Raphinha heading in a rebound from a Lewandowski chipped shot that a defender cleared off the line.

Fifteen minutes later, Jules Kounde, playing for the first time against Sevilla after leaving to join Barcelona this summer, sent a perfect cross into the box that Lewandowski caught on his chest before striking his volley into the bottom left corner.

The Polish striker, who joined Barca from Bayern Munich in a blockbuster deal this summer, is already La Liga’s joint top-goalscorer, level with Celta’s forward Iago Aspas.

“Lewandowski is a fantastic player," Xavi said. "He’s always a solution for his teammates, which shows his maturity.”

Barcelona took control of the match and could have won by a much larger margin. Ousmane Dembele missed a golden opportunity to score a third after a great run right before halftime, but his chipped shot over the goalkeeper sailed just past the left post.

Ten minutes into the second half, Kounde provided another assist, heading a corner at the right post on to Garcia, who thumped home from close range to wrap up the three points.

Barcelona are next in action on Wednesday when they begin their Champions League campaign against Czech champions Viktoria Plzen at the Camp Nou.

Barca failed to get out of the group stage last season and Xavi is determined for his team to get off to a fast start.

“The victory gives you confidence, but we have to continue," he said. "The Champions League begins on Wednesday, that doesn’t stop and it’s important to have the whole team connected."

Updated: September 04, 2022, 6:55 AM
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