Lewandowski’s birthday double leads Barca to first league win | Sport

MADRID (AP) — Robert Lewandowski left his mark with a pair of goals on his 34th birthday, and Barcelona saw its high-profile attack finally beat Real Sociedad 4-1 on Sunday to claim its first win in the season.

Lewandowski also set up Ansu Fati as Barcelona bounced back from a goalless draw at home to Rayo Vallecano in the Spanish league in which the attack was ineffective.

Ousmane Dembele also scored for the Catalan club, who started the season with high expectations after spending heavily on signings despite enduring financial difficulties.

Lewandowski scored his first goal of the season a minute into the match with a beautiful strike from inside the area following a pass from teenager Alejandro Balde.

The home side leveled with Alexandre Isak’s sixth-minute goal after a fine run from veteran David Silva, but it was Barcelona’s forwards who excelled in the second half. Dembele scored with a low kick in the 66th from a pass by Fati, who scored himself in the 79th from a pass from Lewandowski. Lewandowski scored the second goal from close range in the 68th after another pass from Fati.

As a result, Barcelona are unbeaten against Sociedad in 13 league matches, with two draws and 11 wins.

Sociedad started with a win over Cádiz.


Unai Emery’s unsuccessful streak against Diego Simeone is finally over.

Emery’s 12-match league winless streak as manager against Simeone ended with Villarreal’s 2-0 win over Atletico Madrid.

Emery had seven draws and five defeats against Simeone, his worst run against any other manager in the league.

Jeremy Pino and Gerard Moreno scored second-half goals at the Estadio Metropolitano as Villarreal won their second straight to start the league.

Atlético also started with a win, but this time Alvaro Morata and Joao Felix struggled in attack and the hosts were unable to overcome Villarreal. Morata, back from a loan spell at Juventus, scored twice in Getafe’s 3-0 win as Felix provided three assists.

Villarreal beat Valladolid 3-0.

Recently signed Atletico defender Nauel Molina was sent off in stoppage time.

Atlético are unbeaten in their last eight league matches against Villarreal.

After the match, there were reports that Atlético player Mario Hermas got into an argument with fans who allegedly insulted him.


Coach Gennaro Gattuso suffered his first La Liga defeat of the season as Valencia fell 1-0 to Athletic Bilbao.

Alex Berenguer scored the winning goal in the 42nd to give Bilbao their first win of the season after an opening draw at home to Mallorca.

Gattuso made his Valencia debut in a 1-0 home win against Girona.

Bilbao striker Ignacy Williams had a goal disallowed for offside late in the game at San Mames, while Valencia striker Marcos Andre almost equalized in stoppage time with a shot against the crossbar.

Reigning champions Real Madrid beat Celta Vigo 4-1 on Saturday to claim their second straight win at the start of the league.

Barcelona will look to win their first match of the season when they visit Real Sociedad later on Sunday.

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