Barcelona cruised to its first home win of the La Liga season, as it clinched a 4-0 victory over Real Valladolid on matchday three.
Barca had several standout performers over the course of the match, including Robert Lewandowski. Following a two-goal outing in the 4-1 away win against Real Sociedad, Lewandowski provided an encore performance on Sunday with a double. The Polish international also created three goal-scoring chances for teammates during his time on the pitch.
Barca manager Xavi Hernandez came away pleased with the showing from Lewandowski on the day. As he touched on during his post-match press conference, Xavi was also impressed to see the veteran forward contribute in more ways than one on the pitch.
“In addition to the goals, I would highlight his perfect timing to receive, his movements, how he protects the ball,” Xavi said. “He is an extraordinary player. Spectacular. He is a natural leader. It’s wonderful to have him. A blessing. He is an example. He is a born worker. He has humility. He works for the team. He helps the coaching staff. He makes a difference.”
In the early stages of the new season, Lewandowski has shown the tendency to not only press when Barca is without the ball, but when the Catalan club maintains possession, he is not afraid to hover away from his designated space on the pitch to get involved in the build-up of play. This aspect of his play was on full display against Real Valladolid, as he built quality chemistry with the side’s midfield trio.
Lewandowski is currently tied with Real Betis forward Borja Iglesias for the early La Liga lead in goals with four. For now, he is set to receive his biggest test in a Blaugrana shirt in Barca’s upcoming away clash with Sevilla on Sept. 3.
For Xavi, he already has an eye on this early season La Liga showdown.
“I’m already thinking about the match against Sevilla,” Xavi said. “It doesn’t stop. Today we played a complete game, but not perfect. There will be difficult games to come. The season is a challenge. There will be pressure and demands, and we have to take small steps.”
Barcelona currently sits in second place in the La Liga standings with seven points through three matches played.