(Reuters) – Robert Lewandowski scored his fifth goal in four LaLiga games for Barcelona and helped his team breeze past Sevilla with a 3-0 win on Saturday, with Raphinha and Eric Garcia both adding a goal each for the visitors.
The win lifts Barcelona to second place in the table on 10 points, two behind leaders Real Madrid.
For Julen Lopetegui’s team, however, it was their third defeat in four games, leaving them with only one point in 17th place.
Roared on by their fans at a sold-out Sanchez Pizjuan stadium, Sevilla enjoyed an impressive start, pressing Barcelona high and cornering their rivals.
But the visitors silenced the crowd in a lightning counter attack in the 21st minute, ending with Raphinha heading in a rebound from a Lewandowski chipped shot that a defender cleared off the line.
Fifteen minutes later, Jules Kounde, playing for the first time against Sevilla after leaving to sign with Barcelona this summer, sent a perfect cross into the box that Lewandowski caught on his chest before striking his volley into the bottom left corner.
The Polish striker, who joined Barca from Bayern Munich in a blockbuster deal this summer, is already LaLiga’s joint top-goalscorer, level with Celta’s forward Iago Aspas.
Barcelona took control of the match and could have won by a much larger margin. Ousmane Dembele missed a golden opportunity to score a third after a great run right before halftime, but his chipped shot over the goalkeeper sailed just past the left post.
Ten minutes into the second half, Kounde provided another assist, heading a corner at the right post on to Garcia, who thumped home from close range to wrap up the three points.
Lewandowski kept trying to lob the goalkeeper and delivered another attempted chip in a counter-attack in the 73rd minute only to be denied by a defender on the goal again, with Frenkie de Jong almost scoring from the rebound.
The Dutch midfielder shot just wide of the post again five minutes later.
“It was a difficult match but we managed to impose our gameplan, the style that we are working hard to establish this new season,” Raphinha told Movistar Plus.
“We need to have the ball and control the matches. That’s our identity. But the season is long and there is still a long way ahead of us.”
(Reporting by Fernando Kallas; Editing by Hugh Lawson)