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Lewandowski double gives Barca comeback win over Alaves

ROBERT Lewandowski scored twice as Barcelona fought back after conceding an early goal to beat lowly Alaves 2-1 in LaLiga, rescuing the Spanish giants after two losses in their last three games in all competitions.

Barca are in third place on 30 points, two behind Real Madrid in second and four off surprise leaders Girona.

Alaves’ 19-year-old striker Samu Omorodion shocked Barca when he opened the scoring 18 seconds after kickoff with a close-range strike following a quick counter-attack.

The goal came after a mistake by Ilkay Gundogan who lost the ball in the midfield and the hosts were lucky to go in at the break only one behind.

In a half-empty Barcelona Olympic Stadium, with Camp Nou under renovation, the champions struggled early on amid poor control of the ball and sloppy passes, giving Alaves the chance to extend their lead at least four times.

However, the wasteful visitors missed several opportunities, including an absolute sitter from close range in the 30th minute by Samu, who stole the ball from defender Jules Kounde but fired well over from point-blank range.

After Kounde gifted another ball to Andoni Gorosabel, who also missed a great opportunity for Alaves, Barca manager Xavi Hernandez ordered him to change his position from centre-back to right fullback and the move paid off for the hosts.

As they got back on top in the second half, Lewandowski equalised with a towering header in the 52nd minute from a perfect cross by the French defender from the right.

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Barca took control of the game and in the 77th minute Alaves defender Abdelkabir Abqar fouled Raphinha inside the box and Lewandowski converted the penalty to secure the points.

“We need to be conscious about our moment and be self-critical, we are not playing good football lately and need to improve mightily going forward,” Xavi told Movistar Plus.

“The international break has arrived in good time and will do good for us, so we can reflect and work hard to correct our mistakes. I’m optimistic and I think we have enough talent and grit to come back much better in two weeks.”

Atletico Madrid are fourth on 25 points with two games in hand of the leaders and host Villarreal later on Sunday.

By The African Mirror