Barcelona get their first win of the 2023/24 La Liga season with a late 2-0 victory at home against Cadiz.
Xavi’s men faced staunch resistance from their visitors but maintained their composure, ultimately breaking through with a late goal from Pedri, which Ferran Torres expertly capped off.
After a disappointing draw against Getafe on the season’s opening day, the reigning champions were determined to recover and managed to secure a hard-fought win on home turf, securing all three points.
In a fiercely contested game, the home crowd erupted in protest early on when Barcelona were denied what seemed like a clear penalty in just the sixth minute of the match against Cadiz. Lamine Yamal, at 16 years and 38 days, the youngest La Liga starter in the 21st century, was brought down by Javier Hernandez. However, the referee ruled that the Cadiz left-back’s challenge, though strong, was fair.
Despite the early physicality from Cadiz, Barcelona managed to create the first significant opportunity of the game. A free-kick left the Cadiz defense scrambling, and Pedri’s header from close range was surprisingly directed straight at Jeremias Ledesma.
The home side continued to press, with Frenkie de Jong delivering a pinpoint cross met by Robert Lewandowski, whose header, unfortunately, lacked the power to trouble Cadiz’s goalkeeper.
Yamal continued to impress, taking away possession from Hernandez and forcing Ledesma into a spectacular save with a curling effort towards the far post.
As the match progressed, Barcelona maintained their pressure. Another diagonal ball allowed Pedri to find Jules Kounde, who tested Ledesma with a powerful strike.
However, the away team nearly surprised the reigning champions from a corner when Roger seized possession from Alejandro Balde and surged towards the goal, only for Marc-Andre ter Stegen to make a crucial save.
Barcelona came agonizingly close to breaking the deadlock right after the second half began. Ledesma spilled Yamal’s cross-shot, presenting Lewandowski with an opportunity, but Cadiz defenders quickly closed him down.
A defensive error following another corner gave Cadiz a chance, with Ruben Alcaraz narrowly missing the target from Alex Fernandez’s clever cross.
Barcelona kept pushing, with Gavi hitting the crossbar with a looping header just before the hour mark.
Cadiz had their moments too. Christopher Ramos navigated through Barcelona’s defense but ultimately skewed his shot wide of the post.
Barcelona made several substitutions in their quest for a breakthrough, and it finally arrived with ten minutes remaining. Pedri combined brilliantly with Ilkay Gundogan, penetrating the Cadiz penalty area and sliding the ball under Ledesma.
Cadiz attempted to salvage a point, but substitute Alvaro Negredo’s header lacked direction.
Barcelona seemed to have sealed it when Ansu Fati tapped in a cut-back from Lewandowski, but the goal was disallowed due to an offside call.
In the dying moments, Barcelona added a third . Cadiz committed men forward, allowing Ter Stegen to launch a long ball for Lewandowski, who nodded it into the path of Torres, securing the victory.