Robert Lewandowski came off the bench to score a goal and make another as Barcelona beat Cadiz 4-0 on Saturday, in a game delayed by over 50 minutes due to a medical emergency in the stands.
– Report: Cadiz 0-4 Barcelona | LaLiga table | Upcoming appointments
Barca were 2-0 up with 10 minutes to go when the game was halted after a supporter suffered an apparent heart attack. Cadiz goalkeeper Jeremias Ledesma and substitute Jose Mari helped bring a defibrillator and stretcher to the supporter, who was later taken to a hospital. Cadiz President Manuel Vizcaino confirmed the fan’s condition was “stable” and play eventually resumed.
Earlier, Frenkie de Jong gave Barca the lead with his first goal of the season before Lewandowski scored the second from close range. Lewandowski then set up the third for Ansu Fati after the restart, with Ousmane Dembele adding the fourth in added time.
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1. Lewandowski stars again as Barca achieve five straight wins
Lewandowski can’t stop scoring. It took him just eight minutes after coming on as a substitute against Cadiz to score his ninth goal of the season, those goals coming in just six appearances. He then showed power and strength to score against Ansu for Barca’s third goal.
Barca were already ahead when Lewandowski came on in the 57th minute, but only just. They struggled to beat a Cadiz side who have not scored a goal this season until De Jong opened the scoring in the 55th minute. The Dutch midfielder’s first goal since February came after good work from Gavi and the goal also came when Lewandowski, Dembele and Pedri were all naked on the touchline and ready to come on.
Despite the goal, Xavi stuck to his decision to bring the trio in and it didn’t take long for Barca to finish the game from there.
– Cadiz vs. Barcelona suspended due to medical emergency
Barca have now won five straight games in all competitions and temporarily top LaLiga ahead of Real Madrid’s game against Mallorca on Sunday. What Xavi will like is how they find different ways to win. They struggled to break teams who were sitting deep against them under Xavi – they had won just two of the last six games they drew at the break before Saturday – but they found a way through at the Estadio Nuevo Mirandilla.
Next up is the trip to his former club Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Tuesday.
2. Nine changes with a view to Bayern, but opportunities not used
Lewandowski, Dembele and Pedri were all on the bench because Xavi had chosen his side with Bayern in mind. Barca made nine changes to the squad that defeated Viktoria Pilsen 5-1 in the Champions League in midweek and that showed in a disjointed first-half performance.
There was a debut for Hector Bellerin, who did well at right-back and set up the second goal, and we saw a first start of the season for Gerard Pique in defence. Up front, there were chances for Ferran Torres and Memphis Depay to assert their claim to more regular football.
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However, both flattered each other and were substituted for Lewandowski and Dembele early in the second half. Ferran will get more chances when he returns from an injury that sidelined him last season, but Memphis may not be so lucky. The Dutch striker nearly left in the summer but eventually stayed on as a sixth-choice striker following Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s move to Chelsea.
3. Cadiz overrun by Barca, relegation threatened
The last thing a team that has been bottom of the table in four games without a point or a goal usually wants is a visit from Barca. However, Cadiz could have been forgiven for welcoming a game against Xavi’s men.
Since returning to LaLiga in 2020, they hadn’t lost to Barca, beating them twice and drawing twice, scoring four goals and conceding just two. But that run ended on Saturday and Sergio Gonzalez’s side appear to be in trouble even at this early stage of the season.
Cadiz have lost all five LaLiga games so far, not scoring a single goal and conceding 12 goals in the process. The importance of Friday’s trip to Real Valladolid cannot be underestimated – for them and for Gonzalez’s future.
Cadiz (4-2-3-1): Jeremiah Ledesma 7; Joseba Zaldua (6th), Luis Hernandez (6th), Mamadou Mbaye (6th), Alfonso Espino (5th); Alex 5, spring 5; Ivan Alejo6, Ruben Sobrino6, Brian Ocampo6; Luke Perez 6.
Subtitle: Theo Bongonda6, Awer Mabil6, Tomas Alarcon6, Ruben Alcaraz6, Alvaro Negredo6.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Marc-Andre ter Stegen 6; Hector Bellerin (6), Ronald Araujo (6), Gerard Pique (6), Alex Balde (7); 7 Frenkie de Jong, 6 Sergio Busquets, 8 Gavi; Raphinha 7, Memphis Depay 5, Ferran Torres 5.
Subtitle: Marcos Alonso (6), Pedri (6), Robert Lewandowski (8), Ansu Fati (6), Ousmane Dembele (7).
Best and worst performers
BEST: Gavi, Barcelona
There were some decent performances on Saturday. Alejandro Balde was fine at left-back, De Jong was perhaps his best performance of the season and Lewandowski was brilliant off the bench, but Gavi stood out with his energy and quality and he also helped set up the opening goal.
Worst: Memphis Depay, Barcelona
It’s not easy to get a few minutes here and there, but that’s the situation Memphis is in and there’s pressure to deliver at Barca when an opportunity presents itself. He did not perform in Cadiz.
Highlights and notable moments
What a moment for De Jong, isn’t it? His first goal since February was clearly worth it.
FRENKIE DE JONG SCORES HIS FIRST GOAL FOR BARÇA 🙌 pic.twitter.com/Ez90zSEphd
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) 09/10/2022
Then came the sudden interruption due to a medical emergency in the crowd. Thanks to a few quick measures, the condition of the fan could be stabilized.
What a photo. Cadiz keeper Conan Ledesma catches a defibrillator before dashing over to hand it over to the emergency services, who tend to the fan who collapsed in the crowd. https://t.co/X8X7B58EYW
— The Spanish Football Podcast (@tsf_podcast) 09/10/2022
Barcelona admitted this after the game, noting that the result wasn’t the most important thing to take away from Saturday.
Today there were more important things than football. pic.twitter.com/MMwjN6KzLD
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) 09/10/2022
After the game: what the managers, players said
“[The medical emergency] wasn’t a nice situation for anyone. Health and people’s lives always come first. Luckily they were able to revive the person and he is healthy and safe. We both felt it was right to restart the game. We hope that the supporter recovers quickly. The game is secondary at the moment but it was an important win on a difficult pitch. We created a lot of chances, dominated the game and it’s three points to stay at the top of the table.” — Barca coach Xavi
“Obviously we’re all affected by what happened. Hopefully it was just a scare in the end. Football is there for people to enjoy themselves. It’s a privilege to have the fans that we have, it gave an example of humanity during the action — as did the Barcelona fans. As a ship’s captain, I have to jump last, like on the Titanic. LaLiga is unforgiving. We scored zero goals and zero points. But we have to pick ourselves up. We have to get rid of the bad feelings.” — Cadiz coach Sergio González
Key Stats (provided by ESPN Stats & Information)
Lewandowski: Nine goals in last five games, his most in five games with clubs since August-September 2021 (all competitions). During that streak, Lewandowski has scored nine goals from 20 shots (16 SOG), for a total of 4.98 xG
Lewandowski: Becomes the fifth Barcelona player since 2009/10 to score in five straight games in all competitions. In that span of time, Lionel Messi has done it 22 times in a row, Luis Suárez six times, Neymar three times and Pedro once
Lewandowski: Has scored six goals in five LaLiga games, making him the fastest player to reach that number in 21st-century competition (André Silva scored six goals in his first six games for Sevilla in 2018).
Lewandowski: Came into play in the 57th minute. This was his 19th Bundesliga goal as a substitute (Poland, Germany or Spain).
Lewandowski: Assisted Barcelona’s last two goals. It was the fifth time since 2017 that he had two assists and at least one goal in a club game (all comps).
Ansu Fati: 21st career goal for Barcelona (eight of them as a substitute)
De Jong: First goal for Barcelona since February 22 (Europa League vs. Napoli)
Cadiz: LaLiga’s bottom club won’t have it any easier in the coming week, beating Real Valladolid (16/09, 15:00 ET, ESPN+) ahead of the two-week international break. Can they finally break their dark run?
Barcelona: Xavi’s side have two games this week before the two-week international break. First up is a tough trip to FC Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League (Tuesday), followed by the visit of the struggling Elche (9/17, 10.30am ET, ESPN+) to LaLiga. Can they catch up with Real Madrid?
https://www.espn.com/soccer/blog-the-match/story/4743155/lewandowskigavide-jong-dazzle-as-barcelona-stroll-to-victory-at-cadiz-after-medical-stoppage Lewandowski, Gavi, De Jong dazzle as Barcelona stroll to victory at Cadiz after medical stoppage