Thanks to a strong performance by ex-Dortmund player Ousmane Dembélé, FC Barcelona beat Athletic Bilbao 4-0 (3-0) in La Liga and caught up with leaders Real Madrid again.
The France international was directly involved in all four goals and helped the Catalans set things straight in the first half.
With national goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen in goal, Barca made everything clear early on. Dembélé (12′) took the lead himself, assisted by star striker Robert Lewandowski. Six minutes later, Dembélé scored the second goal through Sergi Roberto (18′) and then returned the favor with his second assist at Lewandowski (22′). Substitute Ferran Torres (80th) used Dembélé’s third assist to make the final decision.
“We’ve had a difficult week but we made up for it with the wins against Villarreal and today. We’re still fighting for the top spots,” said Sergio Busquets Movistar.
Without the injured Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema, Real was initially six points ahead with a 3-1 (1-0) win against Sevilla FC. The Catalans reduced the gap to three points with their win.
The victory for Barcelona was marred by two injuries before Wednesday’s Champions League clash against Bayern Munich (9 p.m.). Youngster Gavi had to be substituted in the 34th minute with a groin injury. Goalscorer Sergi Roberto was sent off in the final stages after injuring his shoulder when he tried to slide.