In a 4-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao at Camp Nou on Sunday, Ousmane Dembele changed the jeers into applause by scoring a brilliant goal and setting up two more.
Dembele’s second-half strike was his first since Barcelona told him he must leave if he rejected to sign a new contract during the January transfer window.
Xavi Hernandez, on the other side, has pushed on trying to integrate Dembele in recent weeks, with Barca leaning on the 24-year-old to finish in the top four in La Liga. “He is very professional and I have always defended him. Today we saw the Dembélé we always want to see. “He has made the difference. I see many conditions. Today we have seen the Dembélé that we want and that we all want.”, he said as reported by Fabrizio Romano.
Barcelona beat Athletic Club 4-0 at Camp Nou on Sunday night to make sure their place in the top 4 on goal difference. Both teams rotated ahead of the match, with Xavi resting Frenkie de Jong in an unexpected move, and Athletic making their changes, with regulars like Iker Muniain, Inaki Williams, and Inigo Martinez all being left on the sidelines ahead of their Copa del Rey semi-final return fixture against Valencia in midweek.
The replacements, though, had the power to decide, with Ousmane Dembele, Luuk de Jong, and Memphis Depay all scoring after coming off the bench. Barcelona’s unbeaten streak now stretches at six games, dating back to a Copa del Rey setback to Athletic in January.
It also narrowed the gap to third-placed Real Betis, who succumbed to Sevilla, to only one point, while Barcelona and Atletico Madrid stay level on points. Athletic, meanwhile, still are five points below Villarreal and Real Sociedad in the Spanish league.