Barcelona, Feb 27 (EFE).- Barcelona remains on its up trend in the La Liga table and with a berth in Champions League competition after its 4-0 blowout Sunday over Athletic Club at Camp Nou before almost 70,000 fans thanks to tallies by Aubameyang, Dembele, Luuk de Jong and Memphis.
Athletic manager Marcelino made seven adjustments in his starting 11 – leaving the Williams brothers, Iñigo Martinez and Iker Muniain on the bench to start – but the new configuration didn’t work and Barca had it all their way from the outset, although it took them until the 37th minute to get Aubameyang into position for the first tally.
Gerard Pique attempted a header that hit the crossbar right back to Aubameyang, whereupon the Gabonese powerhouse flipped himself into the air and blasted it into the net for the 1-0.
Barcelona kept their rivals under constant pressure from that point forward, with the triple threat of Adama, Ferran Torres and Aubameyang creating endless problems but unable to change the score before the break.
In fact, it wasn’t until the 73rd minute that Dembele – who had come in 7 minutes earlier – was able to get the second goal into Barca’s pocket, when he took the ball on the left and faced off against Iñigo Martinez, who had been inserted in the 46th minute, but then streaked in toward the line and fired a shot that just missed the post before hitting the twine.
That was where the score stood at the end of regulation time, but two additional goals were still in the offing with Dembele assisting on both, sending a cross to De Jong, who headed it in, and then knocking a low pass into the box, where Memphis Depay slid into it to send it home.
Before the match got under way, both teams had posed with a banner reading “Stop War” to call for an end to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Dani Alves, Araujo, Pique, Dest; Sergio Busquets (Nico, min.86), Pedri, Gavi (Frenkie de Jong, min.67); Adama (Memphis, min.81), Ferran Torres (Dembele, min.67) and Aubameyang (Luuk de Jong, min.86).
Athletic Club: Unai Simon; Lekue, Vivian, Yeray (Iñigo Martinez, min.46), Balenziaga; Zarraga (Nico Williams, min.67), Vencedor, Vesga (Dani Garcia, min.67), Serrano; Raul Garcia (Sancet, min.46) and Villalibre (Iñaki Williams, min.77).