Lewandowski at the double as Barca cruises to win over 10-man Elche

Robert Lewandowski’s brace and Memphis Depay’s goal guided the Catalans to the win.

Robert Lewandowski of FC Barcelona celebrates with his teammates Pablo Paez Gavira ‘Gavi’ of FC Barcelona after scoring his team’s third goal.

Robert Lewandowski of FC Barcelona celebrates with his teammates Pablo Paez Gavira ‘Gavi’ of FC Barcelona after scoring his team’s third goal. | Photo Credit: Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Robert Lewandowski’s brace and Memphis Depay’s goal guided the Catalans to the win.

Barcelona striker Robert Lewandowski continued his insatiable run of form in front of goal by scoring twice and Memphis Depay also got on the scoresheet as the Catalans cruised to a 3-0 win at home to struggling Elche in LaLiga on Saturday.

The victory took Barca top of the standings on 16 points from six games although Real Madrid, on 15, can return to the summit if it wins away at Atletico Madrid on Sunday.

Barcelona's coach Xavi Hernandez rotated his squad for the visit of the league's bottom side, making five changes to the team that lost 2-0 at Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

His side's task was made easier when Elche centre-back Gonzalo Verdu was sent off in the 14th minute for pulling Lewandowski's shirt as the striker was about to reach the area. From that moment on a fifth consecutive league win for Barca looked inevitable, and so it proved.

AS IT HAPPENED: Highlights Barcelona 3-0 Elche La Liga: Goals by Lewandowski, Memphis propel Barca to win and top of table

"We have a big squad, everyone is training well and prepared to play when the team needs them, and that's the important thing," said Xavi.

"This is an atypical year with the compressed calendar so we need all our players and we need to make sure that whoever plays, they are up to the task. We have a lot of players to choose and squads win titles, not starting 11s."

Lewandowski opened the scoring in the 34th minute, arriving deep in the area to knock in a cross from Alejandro Balde and score for the fifth consecutive game in LaLiga.

Memphis scored a magnificent goal to double Barcelona's lead in the 41st minute, receiving the ball with his back to goal and a defender right behind him but swivelling at speed and blasting into the roof of the net.

Moments later the hosts thought they had scored a third when Pedri netted a pass from Lewandowski but the effort was ruled out for offside.

The decision, however, could not placate Elche's furious coach Francisco, who was sent off for dissent.

Lewandowski grabbed his second goal of the game early in the second half, pouncing inside the area after Memphis had fought hard to win back the ball.

It was the Polish striker's eighth league goal this season and his 11th in all competitions, and he nearly completed a hat-trick later on, firing just over the crossbar.

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