Xavi’s FC Barcelona have continued their winning form in La Liga with 4-0 victory at Cadiz .FC Barcelona win their first match vs. Cadiz since 2006,but the celebrations were muted on a day when we were reminded that sometimes things happen that are much more important than a football result.
With Barca leading 2-0, the play was held up for the best part of an hour due to a medical emergency in the crowd. The possibly of suspending the game entirely was mooted, for everyone’s minds were understandably no longer on the outcome of a football match, but eventually play resumed and Barça ended up adding two more goals to the day’s return.
That’s now 17 games away from home for Xavi and not a single defeat, which equals Zinedine Zidane’s run after he took the helm at Real Madrid in 2016. At Mallorca on October 1, the Barca could set a new all-time record.
Quite extraordinarily, both last season and the one before it, FC Barcelona failed to register a single victory against Cadiz. And at half-time on Saturday, with things still scoreless, there was a niggling concern that the negative run was going to continue.
With debutant Hector Bellerín making his debut as one of nine changes to the side that beat Viktoria Plzen midweek, Xavi had opted to start without the likes of Pedri, Robert Lewandowski, Ansu Fati and Ousmane Dembele, perhaps eager to see how things panned out in the first half in the hope that he might be able to rest such key players for the upcoming trip to Bayern Munich.
The aforesaid foursome were all sent out in the second half, as would be the second debutant of the night, Marcos Alonso.
Despite dominating, Barca had been unable to break the home defence in the first 45 minutes. The closest they came was with a Rafinha strike onto the post.
Fresh ideas in the second half led to the deadlock being broken quickly, although when it came, the goal came through three players who had been on from the start. Raphinha and Gavi did some tidy work down the right and the latter placed the ball perfectly for Frenkie de Jong to pop home.
Cadiz were finally broken and they’d be broken even further a few minutes later when Bellerín started the break, Raphinha threaded the ball into the danger zone and following a goal-line scuffle it was a case of who would be quickest to get on the end of the loose ball.
Who else but Lewandowski? The Pole had been reading things to perfection and there he was to claim what is already his sixth goal of the Liga season. Only André Silva with Sevilla in 2018 can match that record in his first five games for a Liga club.
It had been another emphatic performance from Barca , and pending what Real Madrid and Villarreal achieve tomorrow, they now sit at the top of the table. rightly so.