Connect with us


Lewandowski helping Barcelona cling on in title race

Barcelona forward Robert Lewandowski. Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP

Reigning La Liga champions Barcelona’s faltering title defence has been kept just about alive in recent weeks, boosted by Robert Lewandowski’s timely return to form.

The Poland striker endured a dry run of just three goals in 14 appearances heading into the winter break as Barca slipped adrift of league leaders Real Madrid and surprise challengers Girona.

But Lewandowski has netted nine goals in 13 appearances in all competitions since, including five in his last four matches, to help third-placed Barca stay within striking distance of the top.

The Catalan giants could move into second and within five points of Real, who host Sevilla on Sunday, with victory over Getafe on Saturday.

“We are not throwing in the towel but we know it will be difficult,” coach Xavi Hernandez told a press conference on Friday.

“We will continue to fight as long as it’s mathematically possible… We can no longer make any mistakes at home.”

The 35-year-old also netted Barcelona’s goal in a 1-1 draw at Napoli in their Champions League last-16 first leg in midweek.

Only Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe has scored more goals than Lewandowski so far in 2024 for a club in one of Europe’s top five leagues.

“Robert is ‘plugged in’, it makes me emotional to see the unity in the team,” said Xavi after Lewandowski’s match-winning brace at Celta Vigo last weekend.

“I am happy for Robert’s goals but also for his hard work.”

Madrid have opened up a six-point lead over Girona this month and could stretch that further when they face Sevilla, with Girona not in action until Monday when they take on Rayo Vallecano.

Girona, after back-to-back losses, will be desperate to get back to winning ways against a team who have taken just two points from their last six La Liga outings.

Almeria, still waiting for their first victory of the league season after a record-breaking 25 matches, take on Atletico Madrid.

Diego Simeone’s Atletico are embroiled in a battle for fourth place and guaranteed Champions League qualification with Athletic Bilbao, sitting two points above the Basque club.

Player to watch: Sergio Ramos (Sevilla)

Sergio Ramos will return to the Santiago Bernabeu for the first time since he left Real Madrid in 2021 to join PSG, when he lines up for Sevilla on Sunday.

The veteran defender won five La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues in his 16-year spell at Real, scoring 101 goals in 671 appearances.

Ramos, back at boyhood club Sevilla, says he will not celebrate if he scores.

“I wouldn’t celebrate but if I happen to score and it was enough for us to win I would be delighted, those three points would be very good for us,” Ramos told the La Liga website.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


World Cup News


More in Football