BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Robert Lewandowski shook off his disappointing return to Bayern Munich by scoring twice to lead Barcelona to a 4-0 victory at home over 10-man Elche in the Spanish league on Saturday.
They were Lewandowski’s seventh and eighth goals in a five-round scoring streak and took his overall tally to 11 in eight games since he transferred to Barcelona from Bayern this summer.
Barcelona moved to the top of the league standings at one point above Real Madrid before the defending champion plays a derby at Atlético Madrid on Sunday.
The easy win came after Xavi Hernández’s side suffered its only loss of the season at Bayern by 2-0 in the Champions League this week. Lewandowski missed some clear chances against the team he helped lead for eight seasons before coming to Camp Nou.
Elche was left with a hole in its backline in the 15th minute when defender Gonzalo Verdu pulled Lewandowski down when the striker was in position to latch onto a pass that would have left him all alone in the area. The referee didn’t hesitate in sending off Verdu with a direct red since he was the last defender.
Lewandowski opened the scoring in the 33rd when he tapped in a cross from 18-year-old left back Alejandro Balde, who has won the starting job from Jordi Alba.
Memphis Depay doubled the lead in the 41st when he received a pass from Balde, spun around his marker and fired over goalkeeper Édgar Badía.
Lewandowski made it a double three minutes after halftime when he finished off a dangerous cross by Ousmane Dembélé that Elche’s defense couldn’t clear.
Elche, which was left in last place and as the only team yet to win in the league, also lost coach Francisco Rodríguez just before halftime when he was issued a red card apparently for inappropriate language.
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sport
Joseph Wilson, The Associated Press