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FC Barcelona have beaten Athletic Club 4-0 on Sunday evening to hold onto fourth place in La Liga and move to within just one of third-placed Real Betis.
Following impressive wins against Valencia and Napoli, this week’s amazing form continued with a third consecutive four-goal display. The game will be most remembered for a sublime performance by Pedri, but it was a tremendous showing by the whole team, who are just getting better and better under the expert guidance of Xavi Hernández.
Auba does it again
Barça ended the game in utter control, but it did take some time coming. With a crunch Copa del Rey semi-final coming up this week, Athletic opted to rest a few key players for this one. But if anybody expected that to make Barça’s job easy, they’d soon be thinking again.
The home side may have created by far the largest share of the danger, with Gavi coming closest to scoring, but after 37 minutes they hadn’t managed to turn any of that into goals. And the Basques were here to party too and threatened several times on the counter.
It was then that Barça finally managed to break the deadlock. Gerard Piqué, who’d already had one chance cleared off the line, headed a corner onto the crossbar and Aubameyang was there to catch the rebound.
The Gabonese striker’s fifth goal in three games was especially impressive as he was falling backwards when he struck the ball, but into the net it went and Barça were finally on top.
Who’s the man? Ousmane!
Ousmane Dembélé was introduced after 66 minutes to a game that was getting rather short on real action. But from the moment he stepped, the dynamic changed entirely.
After just seven minutes on the pitch, the Frenchman was in space down the left, collected the ball from Frenkie de Jong and slammed in the most brilliant of finishes!
Smack, bang inside the near post and into the roof of the net, it was an absolute belter of a goal.
Two more at the end
That as good as secured the three points, but there were further moments to be enjoyed. There was Pedri’s back-heeled nutmeg that fans will be speaking about for years, there was the return from injury of Memphis Depay and there were a third and fourth goal to celebrate too.
Dembélé was the provider for both of them. For the first, he flipped the ball onto the head of Luuk de Jong and the Dutchman nodded it straight where it was supposed to be.
And right at the final whistle, it was Memphis’ turn to benefit from the ‘Mosquito’s’ services. 4-0, a roaring Camp Nou with around 70,00 fans in attendance and Barça’s unstoppable form continues!
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