FC Barcelona remain close to Real Madrid in La Liga and have warmed up for the Champions League clash with FC Bayern. After the 4-0 win over Bilbao, however, Xavi’s thoughts belonged to two new injured players.
The thoughts of FC Barcelona were probably already circling around the immensely important Champions League home match against FC Bayern Munich on Wednesday from 9.23 pm on Sunday evening. The supposedly unpleasant match against Bilbao was already decided in minute 22, because the Basques did not take place offensively and defensively at Camp Nou.
The encounter, which had so many stories to offer in the run-up around “Golden Boy” Gavi, returning coach Ernesto Valverde or dream starter Robert Lewandowski, lacked excitement early on. Lewandowski set the ball up for Dembelé – 1:0 (12th). Dembelé set up Lewandowski – 3:0 (22.). In between, Dembelé sent Sergi Roberto into the penalty area, who had provided the second goal (18.).
Gavi and Sergi Roberto must go down
For Bilbao, who also had to replace veteran Ander Herrea after 21 minutes due to injury, practically everything went wrong. But the first period also had a downer for the home side as Gavi left the pitch with his face contorted in pain after 34 minutes. Alex Garcia had hit the young driver hard in the groin.
After the change of ends, Barcelona varied between administrative mode and high pressing in the opponent’s penalty area. After 63 minutes, Xavi took three key players off the pitch: Lewandowski, Pedri and Koundé. The good news for the fans at the Camp Nou: Dembelé was still on the pitch.
The world champion was unstoppable on Sunday, in minute 73 the Frenchman already collected his fourth scorer point, as he sent Ferran Torres perfectly into the lane. From the right corner of the five-metre area, the Spaniard tunneled his compatriot Unai Simon from a turn.
The almost perfect evening for the Catalans was marred shortly before the end by Sergi Roberto. The right-back injured his shoulder so badly in a tackle in his own penalty area that he had to be driven off the pitch in a golf caddy. Barça later wrote of a “dislocated left shoulder”. As with Gavi, his involvement against Bayern on Wednesday is very much up in the air.