Robert Lewandowski continued his brilliant start to life in LaLiga to help seal a 4-0 win for Barcelona at lowly Cadiz, though a medical emergency in the crowd marred Saturday's match.
Introduced by Xavi just after Frenkie de Jong's first goal of the season had put Barca ahead in Andalusia, Lewandowski slid in to wrap up the points.
It marked Lewandowski's sixth LaLiga goal in his fifth appearance in the competition, with no player having managed as many goals in their first five games in Spain's top flight in the 21st century.
Yet a routine win was soured in the closing stages, with play halted and the players taken off the field following a medical emergency in the stands.
When the match eventually resumed after a 40-minute delay, Lewandowski turned provider for Ansu Fati and Ousmane Dembele scored as Barca saw out a rout that moves them top of LaLiga with four wins from their five games.
Cadiz relied on the woodwork coming to their rescue in the 10th minute, when Raphinha's low effort hit the right-hand post.
Raphinha blazed over from Barca's next chance, with Memphis Depay showing a similar lack of composure after connecting with Ronald Araujo's knockdown.
De Jong tried a cheeky lob early in the second half, but it never came close to testing Jeremias Ledesma. Yet after a warning shot from Fede San Emeterio at the other end, the Barca midfielder was presented with a simple chance.
It was one he took, thumping a first-time finish into a gaping net after Ledesma had parried Gavi's cutback.
On from the bench, Lewandowski needed just eight minutes to put the game to bed – the 34-year-old's poacher's instincts on show as he tucked in a loose ball from a yard out.
The match was already over as a contest, but Barca added two more after the restart, with Lewandowski squaring for Fati to tap in before Dembele's shot squirmed home.
What does it mean? Football put into perspective
It was a strong performance from Barca, who are looking every bit the part under Xavi. He equalled the best start of a coach when it comes to results on the road in the competition's history, with his 17 games unbeaten matching a record set by Zinedine Zidane with Madrid in 2016.
Yet football is just a game, and emotions were clearly running high on the pitch as the medical emergency unfolded in the stands. Cadiz goalkeeper Ledesma helped, passing what appeared to be medical equipment into the crowd, while other players were seen praying, their concern serious, prior to being taken off.
The match resumed, though given the stands had half-emptied and the players were clearly shaken, you have to question the sense in carrying on in the circumstances, with Cadiz's focus clearly, and understandably, elsewhere.
Lewy on a roll
There was never really any doubt, was there? Lewandowski was a goal machine in the Bundesliga and, like another export of that league – Erling Haaland – has quickly adapted to life elsewhere in Europe.
His goal came from his only attempt, while he finished with two key passes, both of which resulted in assists for Fati and Dembele respectively.
Cadiz's blunt attack proving costly
Barca attempted just six shots in the opening 45 minutes, their lowest total in a first half of a game this season in all competitions, and that was testament to the hosts' defensive work.
But it is going the other way that is the problem for Cadiz, who are yet to score this season having had 38 attempts without finding the net.
Key Opta Facts
- Barcelona recorded their first win against Cadiz in LaLiga since April 2006 (1-0 at home), ending a run of four games without a victory against them in the competition (D2 L2).
- Barca have won nine of their last 10 LaLiga away games (D1), making it five more wins than in their previous 14 away games in the competition (W4 D8 L2).
- No team has won and scored more goals against Cadiz CF than Barcelona in the history of LaLiga (20 wins and 63 goals).
- Barca have not lost any of their five matches in LaLiga 2022-23 (W4 D1), conceding just one goal. In the last 36 years, only in 2014-15, when they recorded their best unbeaten start in the history of the competition (eight games), have Barca conceded fewer goals after the opening five games of a season.
- De Jong scored his ninth LaLiga goal for Barcelona – seven of his goals in the competition have come away from home.
Barca face Lewandowski's former club Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Tuesday before hosting Elche four days later in LaLiga. Cadiz take on Real Valladolid on Friday.