Barcelona Thrashes Antwerp with a Spectacular 5-0 Victory in opening Champions League Clash
Joao Felix shines with brace as Baarcelona dominates Belgian opponents; Lewandowski hits 100 European Club goals”
In a thrilling encounter at the Estadio Olimpico, Barcelona secured a convincing victory against Antwerp, maintaining their unbeaten record against Belgian sides at home in the Champions League. With two changes in the starting lineup, Raphinha and Gundogan brought fresh energy to the Blaugrana squad.
The match marked a significant milestone for Robert Lewandoski who scored his 100 goal in European club competition.
Barcelona started the game a bit cautiously, with Antwerp pressing high and playing narrow. However, it didn’t take long for the home team to find their rhythm.
In the 11th minute, the deadlock was broken when Joao Felix, in sublime form, capitalised on a superb link-up play between Gundogan and Gavi. Felix expertly slotted the ball near post, leaving the Antwerp goalkeeper with no chance. This marked Felix’s second goal in a Barcelona shirt.
Just eight minutes later, the lead was doubled. Lewandowski displayed his class by volleying the ball into the net at the back post after a brilliant pass from Joao Felix, who was threaded through by Frankie De Jong.
Barcelona continued their dominance, and in the 22nd minute, they found themselves up 3-0. A fortunate deflection off an Antwerp defender redirected Raphinha’s cross into the net.
The first half saw some entertaining moments, including Joao Cancelo attempting a rabona pass to Felix and Felix almost setting up Lewandowski for another scoring opportunity.
Although Antwerp had a chance in the 43rd minute, it was comfortably saved by Ter Stegen.
In added time, Barcelona showcased their flair with a beautiful one-two passing sequence that found Balde open on the left, but he blasts the ball wide off the mark.
Barcelona had completely dominated the first half, with Joao Felix being the standout player, contributing to two of the goals.The defence led by Jules Kounde and Andreas Christensen kept Barca secure at the back and the midfield supported the forwards in keeping possession of the ball.
The second half continued in a similar vein, with Barcelona showing their attacking prowess. In the 54th minute, Gavi added another goal to Barcelona’s tally, firing a rebound into the net.
As the match progressed, substitutions were made, with Fermin Lopez and Romeu entering the field for Barcelona.
In the 66th minute, Joao Felix completed his brace with a fantastic header at the back post, courtesy of an exceptional delivery from Raphinha.
At just 16 years of age, Lamine Yamal made his Champions League debut, coming on as a substitute.
Ferran Torres, another substitute, nearly made an instant impact with a curling effort that just went wide.
Ter Stegen made a remarkable double save in the 74th minute, although the Antwerp attack was deemed offside.
Barcelona continued to push for more goals, but Lamine Yamal missed a great opportunity to score.
In the dying moments of the game, Lewandowski displayed his skill with a brilliant touch and turn but couldn’t find the target.
Barcelona’s dominant performance propelled them to the top of Group H on goal difference.
Their next challenge comes in La Liga as they host Celta Vigo on Saturday, September 23, at 17:30.
In the Champions League, their next clash against Porto in Portugal on Wednesday, October 4, at 20:00, promises to be their toughest test in the group stage. Barcelona fans have much to look forward to after this commanding victory.