Lewandoski’s Hat-Trick!
FC Barcelona's striker Robert Lewandowski (2-L) heads to score the 3-2 goal during the Spanish LaLiga soccer match between FC Barcelona and Valencia CF in Barcelona, Spain, 29 April 2024. EFE-EPA/Enric Fontcuberta

Lewandoski’s Hat-Trick!


Sports Desk, Apr 30 (EFE).-

Robert Lewandowski scored a second-half hat-trick as Barcelona came from behind to beat a combative Valencia 4-2 and return to second place in the Spanish LaLiga on Monday.

With LaLiga title hopes all but gone, 30,167 fans, the lowest of the season, braved torrential rain at the Catalan capital in a rare Monday evening fixture only to find the home side trailing Valencia 1-2 in the first half.

A red card for visiting keeper Giorgi Mamardashvili for a foul on Raphinha in added time of the first half changed the complexion of the game.

Lewandowski took full advantage to not only complete his hat-trick but also put him firmly in the race for the Pichichi Trophy for the second season in a row.

Barça capitalized on their early dominance with the opening goal on 22 minutes as Fermin Lopez headed a Raphinha cross into the left corner of the post.

Valencia managed to turn the tables in the eventful first half, first thanks to a rare blunder by Ter Stegen and then to a penalty gifted by Ronald Araujo.

Ter Stegen left Hugo Duro to score on an empty goal in 27 minutes.

Araujo brought down Peter Federico inside the box ten minutes later, and Pepula sent Ter Stegen the wrong way to put Valencia ahead.

Valencia were down to 10 men as Mamardashvili felled Raphinha outside the box in a desperate attempt to prevent him from scoring.

Barcelona didn’t take long to cash in on their numerical advantage, as Lewandowski headed home a corner four minutes into the second half to make it 2-2.

Pedri made a last-ditch tackle to prevent Barca from falling behind again before Lewandowski scored his long-coming second goal, also with a header, eight minutes from time.

FC Barcelona’s midfielder Fermin Lopez (R) in action against Valencia’s midfielder Javi Guerra (L) during the Spanish LaLiga soccer match between FC Barcelona and Valencia CF, in Barcelona, Spain, 29 April 2024. EFE-EPA/ Alejandro Garcia

A perfectly taken free-kick earned the Pole his hat-trick three minutes into injury time, taking his tally to 16 in the league.

The three goals took Lewandowski to within just one of the top scorers, Jude Bellingham of Real Madrid and Alexander Sorloth of Villarreal.

They also took Barcelona two points above Girona, whom they will face in the Catalan derby in the next match on Saturday, a game that may determine the runners-up team in LaLiga this season. EFE


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