Robert Lewandowski has taken no time at all to settle in LaLiga, with his latest clinical strike sufficient to see off Real Mallorca.
Robert Lewandowski chalked up a LaLiga record as his ninth goal of the season gave Barcelona a 1-0 win at Real Mallorca, taking Xavi’s team to the top of LaLiga.
Lewandowski’s match-winner made him the fastest player to reach nine goals in Spain’s top flight in the 21st century and it was just his seventh game since joining from Bayern Munich.
Real Madrid can reassert themselves as leaders when they face Osasuna on Sunday, but a glimpse of Barca at the summit, however fleeting, points to the prospect of a fierce title battle.
There was plenty to satisfy manager Xavi, including a first home league start of the season for Ansa Fatih, although his side had to settle for a narrow victory.
Lewandowski put Barcelona ahead in the 20th minute, collecting a pass from Ansu Fatih and driving in from the left. Cleverly cut onto his right foot to create space and unleashed a powerful low shot into the far corner.
The Pole had another chance shortly after but failed to use the power to finish after being picked out by Sergio Busquets with a clever first-time pass.
Mallorca came close to equalizing when Jaume Costa tested Marc-Andre ter Stegen after good persistence down the right wing from Antonio Sanchez.
Sanchez forced another save from Ter Stegen with a brutal cross soon after the break, while at the other end Franck Kessie sent a 25-yard drive wide after good work from Fati.
Kessie and Fati broke through midway through the half as Xavi brought on Pedri and Raphinha, highlighting the depth of Barcelona’s squad.
Pedri, Gavi and Raphinha almost combined for a fantastic goal, but Barcelona didn’t need a second in the end.