Lewandowski powers Barcelona over Villarreal

Barcelona, Oct 20 (EFE).- Three goals in the space of seven minutes – two of them by Robert Lewandowski – turned out to be all FC Barcelona would need to beat Villarreal 3-0 here Thursday and tighten their grip on second place in LaLiga.

Blaugrana supporters were badly in need of a morale boost after seeing their heroes lose 3-1 to archrivals Real Madrid in last Sunday’s Clasico and a draw against Inter Milan that left the Catalan club on the verge of elimination from the Champions League.

Barcelona improved to 25 points, 3 behind leaders Real Madrid and 3 better than Real Sociedad. Villarreal, with 15 points, slipped to ninth place by virtue of their defeat and Osasuna’s 1-0 win earlier Thursday against Espanyol.

Missing three starters to injury, Villarreal adopted a defensive strategy and managed to hold the Barcelona attack in check until the 31st minute, when Jordi Alba delivered a perfect pass to Lewandowski and the Polish international beat two defenders and goalkeeper Gero Rulli.

The striker made it 2-0 four minutes later with a curling strike from the edge of the area. Ansu Fati converted his own rebound in the 38th minute to give the hosts a bigger cushion.

With 11 goals in 10 matches, Lewandowski, the reigning two-time European Golden Boot, is the LaLiga scoring leader.

EFE fa/dr

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