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Aubameyang, Barcelona stay hot

MADRID (AP) – Things are going Barcelona’s way again and, thanks to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, scoring is no longer a problem for the Catalan club.

Aubameyang scored his fifth goal in three matches as Barcelona kept momentum with a reassuring 4-0 win over Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish league early yesterday.

Ousmane Dembélé, Luuk de Jong and Memphis Depay also scored for Barcelona, which was coming off a big win against Napoli in the Europa League. Xavi Hernández’s team has won three in a row in all competitions – scoring four goals each time – and is back in fourth place in the Spanish league in the final Champions League spot.

“We’ve been doing a good job,” Xavi said. “The sensations are getting better and better. The team has been practicing very well and now the results are showing.”

The win at Camp Nou moved Barcelona within a point of third-place Real Betis with a game in hand. Its gap to leader Real Madrid is 15 points.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Athletic Bilbao’s Mikel Balenziaga jump for a header. PHOTO: AP

Aubameyang had scored in the 4-2 win against Napoli on Friday and was coming off a hat trick in the 4-1 win against Valencia in the league last week. The 32-year-old striker was signed from Arsenal in the last minute of the transfer window last month.

He scored from close range in the first half against Athletic and Dembélé added to the lead in the second for his first goal since being reinstated to the squad after refusing to leave in the transfer window.

De Jong sealed the victory with a header in the 90th and Depay closed the scoring in stoppage time for his first goal since November. This was his first appearance after being sidelined for almost a month and a half because of an injury.

The win kept Barcelona unbeaten in seven matches in all competitions, since a loss to Athletic in the round of 16 of the Copa del Rey in January.

Athletic, sitting in eighth place, was coming off a 4-0 rout of Basque Country rival Real Sociedad in the league. Seventh-place Sociedad rebounded from the loss to Athletic with a 1-0 win over Osasuna.

Sevilla beat Real Betis 2-1 in the Seville derby to stay within range of lea


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