Barcelona prepare for Bayern Munich with Cadiz win amid sobering end to match

Cadiz 0-4 Barcelona

Barcelona made nine changes to the team that beat Viktoria Plzen 5-1 on Wednesday, with one eye seemingly on their next match against Bayern Munich. After a tricky first half, Xavi Hernandez’s men eventually ran out comfortable winners.

A hectic start to the match saw a nervy couple of moments in the defence, which included Gerard Pique making his first start of the season. Barcelona then applied pressure to the Cadiz defence and came close through Raphinha’s strike, which came off the inside of the post. The ball then fell to Ferran Torres, who forced a good save from Conan Ledesma in the Cadiz goal.

That was then the closest that Barcelona came for the rest of the half. The match settled into a rhythm of Barcelona coming forward but struggling to trouble the Cadiz defence in spite of a late flurry from the visitors.

The second half had started much the same way but when Gavi made a run between the central defender and the full-back, as is becoming his trademark, Raphinha found him down the right side. His ball was palmed out by Ledesma, falling to an onrushing Frenkie de Jong to pass it into an empty net.

Thereafter Xavi had the luxury of bringing on Pedri, Ousmane Dembele and Robert Lewandowski. It took a total of seven minutes for that to take effect. Raphinha was this time cutting the ball back for de Jong arriving again. His effort was blocked by three Cadiz players including Ledesma, leaving the ball rolling in front of an open goal just two yards out. A prospect that was too tantalising for Lewandowski, who slid in to score his sixth La Liga  goal.

The game opened up a little thereafter but there were no clear chances.

Worrying scenes ensued as Cadiz goalkeeper Conan Ledesma was seen sprinting across the pitch with a defibrillator and throwing it into the crowd. The match was then stopped, punctuated by sombre faces from both players and fans, as someone in the crowd received medical attention. After around 20 minutes of delay, the players were led off as the match was postponed.

After a delay for the best part of an hour, the final ten minutes were played out. Dembele broke free on the counter and sent Lewandowski clear of the defence. Bearing down on goal, he squared it for Ansu Fati to tap in.

Dembele then drove at the defence, cutting this way and that, before firing at goal. Ledesma might have done better, but he had more than accomplished his duties for the day, with a potentially life-saving action.

A comfortable win eventually, a surreal evening in Andalusia which hopefully ends in a full recovery for the fan in the stands who was taken to hospital.