Barcelona’s Biggest Victories of the Season 2022/23
FC Barcelona secured their first Spanish title in four years on May 14th, and they did so at the home of perhaps their fiercest rivals. Of course, we all understand that Real Madrid are the Blaugrana’s ideological rival, both in a political and in a sporting sense. However, those that actually live in Catalonia will tell you that there is no rivalry quite as fierce as the one between Barca and their city rivals, Espanyol.
That pair faced off recently at the RCDE Stadium, home of the Periquitos, and the visitors knew that victory would secure another La Liga crown and end their four-year-long drought. Throughout the course of the campaign, Xavi’s men have pulled out a whopping lead on rivals Real, and victory on enemy territory was all that was required to wrap up the title with four games to spare. And that is exactly what happened.
The visitors raced out of the blocks, as three goals to the good at the halftime interval courtesy of a Robert Lewandowski doubled either side of a strike from talented teenage full-back Alejandro Balde. Centre-back Jules Koundé added a fourth shortly after the break and despite two late consolation goals from the home side, they were powerless to stop Barca from romping to the 27th league championship in the club’s history.
It has been quite the turnaround at the Nou Camp over the last 12 months. Last summer, the club gambled with its future by selling off a number of its assets in order to fund a number of megamoney new signings. The club doubled down as one might do when playing blackjack and other classic table games for cash, which luckily, turned out to be a winning strategy, and on this particular occasion, the Blaugrana have come up trumps.
They have finally wrestled La Liga back from Los Blancos, and who knows where they may go from here. But despite what the table currently says, it hasn’t always been easy. Here are two crucial victories which catapulted FC Barcelona back to the pinnacle of Spanish football.
Barcelona 2-1 Real Madrid – March 19th, 2023
There is no denying that El Clasico has lost its shine somewhat in recent years. Gone are the days of Messi vs Ronaldo and Guardiola vs Mourinho. However, this year’s installment of the epic rivalry from the Camp Nou was the very definition of a six-pointer.
Heading into the March 19th clash, Barcelona were nine points clear of their rivals from the capital. Victory and the title were all but theirs, defeat, and the door were wide open for Los Blancos to retain their crown. And after Ronald Araújo turned into his own goal after just nine minutes, it looked like the La Liga title fight was back on.
But the Blaugrana proved on this night that their darkest days are firmly in the rearview mirror. They came roaring back just as champions do. La Masia academy product Sergi Roberto equalised on the stroke of halftime, and throughout the second half, there was only one team that looked like they would go on and get the victory.
But despite the Blaugrana’s pressure throughout the second stanza, that elusive winner never came. That was until the 92nd minute anyway. That’s when former AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessié netted the winner with just seconds remaining, leaving Culés the world over to celebrate long into the evening.
Real Sociedad 1-4 Barcelona – August 21st, 2022
For years, the city of San Sebastián has not been a happy hunting ground for FC Barcelona. Even when Lionel Messi, Andrés Iniesta, Xavi, Neymar, and Luis Suárez were at the peak of their powers, the Anoeta has long been a banana skin for the club. In fact, between 2011 and 2017, Real Sociedad went eight consecutive games without losing at home to the Catalonians, winning five of them.
This season, the pair met in the second campaign. Fans of the Blaugrana were unsure of what to expect of the campaign to come throughout the course of the season. They had laboured to a 0-0 draw at home to Rayo Vallecano on the opening weekend of the campaign and reports that the club was over €1bn in debt were circulating in the media.
But on this fine August evening, Xavi and his FC Barcelona side announced to the world that they were back. They took the lead in the very first minute thanks to a goal from new striker Robert Lewandowski and they never looked back. Admittedly, current Newcastle United hitman Alexander Isak managed to equalise for the hosts, but throughout the second period, it was one-way traffic.
The much-maligned Ousmane Dembélé once again gave the visitors the lead shortly after the hour mark, and Lewandowski would add his second and double the advantage just a couple of minutes later. Talented young winger Ansu Fati, who still hasn’t returned to his very best form, netted his first goal of the season in the 79th minute to secure a resounding 4-1 victory for the Catalonians and confirm to the rest of Spain that FC Barcelona were contenders for the crown once again.
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