• Lewandowski took less than three minutes to debut as a scorer and Xavi’s Barca overwhelmed him in his presentation to his people
  • A stellar partnership between the Pole and Pedri gave meaning to the vertical role that Xavi asks of his interiors

The music is already playing at the Spotify Camp Nou. Celestial music: Lewandowski’s rock and roll, Pedri’s delicious opera, Raphinha’s samba or Dembélé’s waltz, who scored again, with a wide repertoire of songs, accompanied Barcelona in their season debut in front of their fans. There was a brace from Pedri with a brace of assists from Lewandowski, who had opened the scoring very early, goals, and even three shots at the post by Xavi’s team, who scored and settled their tournament in less than twenty minutes. The doubled positions were in evidence with Aubameyang’s goal and Frenkie de Jong received the affection of the fans in a great second half, signed with a great goal, the sixth.

Lewandowski’s gunpowder launched the festival of a Barcelona that, a week before the start of the competition, confirmed many of the good things hinted at during the preseason and discovered some new ones, such as the Lewandowski-Pedri connection. One of the best ballplayers in the world and one of the best gunslingers. They have been found and that can be devastating. For their part, Raphinha and Dembele reaffirmed their state of grace. They entered like arrows down the flanks, while Pedri made sense of what Xavi wanted from the interiors: that they reach vertical space.

The Gamper had turned into an emotional and well-deserved tribute to Dani Alves, with the presence of all the former teammates and the president on the pitch. Between the recognition of the Brazilian and the fact that they decided to wait to see if the stands filled up a little more, the ‘show’ started a little later. And those late-arriving fans almost missed the first goal. A historic goal.

‘Lewi’ premieres

Not even three minutes had passed when Lewandowski, jinxed at the door on the preseason tour, finally made his debut as a scorer with Barça. And it was a hit. Dembele and Raphinha, wingers on the right and left respectively, had already looked for the striker in a clear statement of intent from Barca, but it was Pedri who found the Pole. A magnificent deep pass from the canary, the striker beat the goalkeeper’s exit with a touch and, without an angle after losing verticality, he stopped and with his right foot fired a shot close to the far post. A great goal that drove Spotify Camp Nou crazy.

After a little over a minute, the roles were reversed and it was Lewandowski who assisted Pedri, also vertically for the arrival of the canary, who dribbled past the goalkeeper and put up the second. After ten minutes, Dembélé achieved the third, after several attempts, and signed an overwhelming start for Barcelona.

Shaken by this start, the Pumas tried to weather the storm, which for a few moments seemed to subside. The truce lasted until Lewandowski, who picked up a vertical pass from Eric, found Pedri again. High-heeled pass to the canary first after receiving from the central defender, control by Pedri sitting central defender Ortiz and a goal.

Another from Pedri and, almost, another from his Polish buddy, who finished off a Dembélé center on the post. Barcelona was launched. And, then, he seemed to feel clemency for a disconcerted UNAM in which Alves was trying to save the furniture.

Ter Stegen gave signs of life, to make it clear that Xavi had lined up the goalkeeper, in a shot by Salvio after poor control by Araujo in defense. Barca had taken their foot off the accelerator to avoid making more blood from a rival to whom the Gamper came in very handy.

the changes are coming

Another Barça, but almost the same efficiency in the second half. At least initially. Aubameyang, playing as a right winger so that Lewandowski could continue in the axis and then for Memphis to do so, put the ‘little hand’ five minutes after the break to a pass from Kessie, in a play started with a Frenkie de Jong ready to claim and cheered by the public.

So much so, that in a free-kick action by Dani Alves on the Dutchman, the fans made it clear that the author of the foul was who he was and reproached him with jeers. The Brazilian, however, was substituted at game time and received the final applause from his fans.

Despite the changes, Barcelona maintained their authority in the game, they did not get carried away by the size of the scoreboard, and yesterday’s reserves worked to win the favor of their coach. And De Jong rounded off a great performance on the inside with the sixth goal, receiving a pass into space, facing the goal, and scoring. Even Iñaki Peña joined the party with a great save in the only blow of the Pumas.

The competition will be something else and Xavi already has quite clear ideas. In the Gamper, he has taken note of interesting aspects, but the key is that he has a squad, as he wanted, that there is competition in practically all positions, and that his approaches, for the moment, are going well: effective play on the wings, a ‘nine’ of luxury, arrivals from the interiors to the space and central with ball exit. Next Saturday is serious, but the symphony is already playing at the Spotify Camp Nou.


FC BARCELONA : Ter Stegen (3) (Peña (2), 60′); Sergi Roberto (2) (Dest (3), 60′), Araujo (2) (Koundé (3), 60′), Eric (3) (Piqué (3), 46′), Balde (2) (Jordi Alba (2), 46′); Gavi (3) (Kessie (3), 46′), Sergio Busquets (3) (Nico (2), 46′), Pedri (4) (De Jong (3), 46′); Dembélé (4) (Aubameyang (3), 46′), Lewandowski (4) (Memphis (2), 60′), Raphinha (3) (Ansu Fati (2), 46′)

PUMAS UNAM : Julio González (2); Pablo Bennevendo (2), Arturo Ortiz (1), Nicolás Freire (1), Adrián Aldrete (1) (Diogo (1), 60′); Dani Alves (2) (Rodríguez (1), 60′), Higor Meritao (1) (Velarde (2), 67′), Leonel López (1) (Galindo (1), 46′); Gustavo del Prete (2) (Gutiérrez (1), 46′), Eduardo Salvio (1) (Huerta (2), 67′), Juan Dinenno (1) (Marco García (2), 60′)

GOALS : 1-0, Lewandowski (3′); 2-0, Pedri (5′); 3-0, Dembele (10′); 4-0, Pedri (19′); 5-0, Aubameyang (49′); 6-0, De Jong (85′)

REFEREE : José María Sánchez Martínez, Murciano Committee. Card to Gavi (21′).

SPECTATORS: 83,021 at the Camp Nou

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