Alavés 1-3 FC Barcelona: Better and better

Alavés 1-3 FC Barcelona: Better and better

A solid all-round performance and goals from Lewandowski, Gündoğan and Vitor Roque secure an impressive win in Vitoria

The squad might be depleted by injuries, but FC Barcelona refused to let that stop them from collecting three points from a 3-1 victory in Vitoria this Saturday.

Particularly in the first half, in-form Alavés made life extremely difficult for the defending champions, but while the Basques were struggling to convert their own chances, Barça brought out all their class to make sure of their own.

All-round it was a performance that will have pleased Xavi no end. His team were defensively solid, creative in midfield and effective up front, and produced a comfortable win out of a potentially very difficult game.

Other talking points were the return from injury of Iñígo Martinez, and an interesting starting line-up that included five defenders, with Andreas Christensen playing in midfield. And the plan worked out to perfection.

But if one player stood out above any other, than that was young Lamine Yamal. In what may well have been the best display yet from the teenager, there were some moments of jaw-dropping class... And to think that this is just a taste of what might be to come.

Lewy breaks deadlock

There have been so many times this season when Barça have dominated games but failed to take their chances. The opposite was the case today when they led 2-0 after 49 minutes of play at Mendizorroza.

In all that time, Barça had only created two truly decent chances to score, but they both resulted in goals.

First, Ilkay Gundogan found a gap in the home defence and to pick out Robert Lewandowski, who coolly pipped the ball over Antonio Sivera to claim his first league goal for almost two months.

Vitor Roque Alaves


And just after half-time an exquisite ball from Pedri looped its way over to Gundogan at the far post, who met it with a crunching volley to double the Barça lead.

2-0 up in game where Barça were looking anything but comfortable. Alavés had often looked the far more threatening of the two sides, but the Barça defence did a fabulous job of neutralising the danger, and Iñaki Peña was there to deal with any balls that did fine their way through.

Roque scores... and then sent off

An unstoppable Samuel Omorodion header gave the home fans a moment of hope before Barça re-established the two-goal cushion with a simply stunning piece of football.

An exquisite series of passes around the edge of the Alavés area was culminated by a polished Vitor Roque finish, and for the second time in three days, the tiger claws were out.

But Tigrinho’s involvement in the game would be cut short when, just 13 minutes after coming on as a substitute, he was sent off for what, at least in the referee’s opinion, was a second bookable offence.

In theory, a nervous finish was on the cards. But Alavés never managed to make the extra man tell and Barça played down the clock expertly to make sure of three points to keep up the pressure on Girona and Real Madrid, who both have yet to play this weekend.

Barça now have a much-needed eight-day break before hosting Granada at the Estadi Olimpic next Sunday at 9pm CET.


Força Barça
Força Barça

Related to this article

Close article

Related to this article