By Le Figaro with AFP
Still as winded, FC Barcelona was still scared but ended up winning in Pamplona against Osasuna (2-1) on Sunday thanks to a late penalty from Robert Lewandowski, at the end of the fourth day of La Liga. Thanks to this narrow success, the Blaugranas are back on the podium and remain in contact with Real Madrid, undefeated leader with 12 points.
Xavi’s men put on some pace from the start and almost made it easier by opening the scoring in the first minute of play, but De Jong’s right shot hit the post, and Lewandowski was too short for the to resume. In the absence of its conductor Pedri, injured in the hamstrings and unavailable for several weeks, it was Frenkie De Jong who dictated the tempo, but the Barcelona attack still lacked madness.
The Catalans tried to combine inside, without more success than in previous encounters, and failed to get around the Basques’ low block. The latter even deprived Xavi’s men of the ball and got the two best chances of the first half, but the attempts of Arnaiz (23rd), Munoz (29th) and especially Aimar (31st) were saved by Ter Stegen.
While we thought we would see the 22 players return to the locker room with a goalless draw, French defender Jules Koundé gave Barça the advantage with a crossed header (46th) on a corner from Gündogan, omnipresent since the start of the encounter.
First minutes for Cancelo and Félix
The young Lamine Yamal, 16 years old and already called up with the Spanish selection on Friday, was once again a starter on the right, despite the return to the group of the Brazilian Raphinha, suspended in the last two games. Well taken by the experienced Juan Cruz, he was less sharp than against Villarreal (4-3) and Cadiz (1-0), and gave way to Ferran Torres (59th).
Too much in management, Barça ended up being punished in the 76th minute by the Argentinian Chimy Avila, who equalized with a powerful shot from the left from outside the box, deceiving Ter Stegen with the help of the post . On a millimeter cross from De Jong, Robert Lewandowski was hooked by Catena and obtained an unexpected penalty, which he transformed by taking Aitor Fernandez on the wrong foot (86th).
In difficulty at the start of the season, the Pole, already decisive at Villarreal (4-3), thus offers the Blaugranas three points thanks to a second goal in two games. The two Portuguese recruits on this last day of the transfer window, Joao Félix and Joao Cancelo played their first minutes in the Blaugrana jersey. The striker on loan from Atlético did not have the opportunity to showcase himself, while Cancelo thought he was offering his first ist to Lewandowski (71st), but the N.9 was offside.
Still undefeated, Barça are third behind their Catalan neighbor Girona, a nice surprise at the start of the season, on goal difference.