Barcelona VS Antwerp: Barcelona thrash Royal Antwerp 5-0

Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

BARCELONA, Spain – Tuesday at the Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys, Barcelona’s new attacker Joao Felix scored twice in a 5-0 thrashing of visiting Royal Antwerp in their Champions League Group H opener.

After several group-stage defeats, Barca gave debutants Antwerp a football lesson, controlling the ball with nimble passing while Felix, Lewandowski, and Gavi all scored.

I believe this is probably the best quality of play we’ve produced since I took over, coach Xavi Hernandez remarked after the victory and the 5-0 victory over Betis on Saturday.

This is the road we want to be on. I am proud of the group.

unplanned signing In the eleventh minute, Felix scored the first goal for the home team with a low strike inside the near post.

Eight minutes later, Robert Lewandowski, a striker from Poland, became the third player behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to reach 100 goals in European competition when the Portuguese set him up inside the box to double their advantage.

After 22 minutes, Raphinha assisted the five-time European champions with an own goal as his shot from a tight angle rebounded off defender Jelle Bataille.

Just before halftime, winger Arbnor Muja had a chance to offer the visitors a glimmer of hope, but goalkeeper Marc Andre ter Stegen stopped his low shot from the edge of the box.

Following the break, Barca came back hungry to extend their lead in their 28th Champions League group-stage campaign, a record they share with Real Madrid.

They didn’t have to wait long, though, as Felix added another goal with a header at Barca’s temporary home while Camp Nou is being renovated after Gavi made it 4-0 by slamming the ball into the roof of the net.

With only three shots on target, Antwerp, who was competing in the Champions League after winning their domestic league for the first time in more than 60 years previous season, was outclassed by Barcelona, who had 22 efforts.

The Belgian team is competing in Europe for the sixth time in a row, and after participating in the European Cup in 1957–58, this is their second appearance in the continent’s top club competition.

“(Barcelona’s) first three shots on target were three goals for them,” Antwerp coach Mark van Bommel stated.

They are the world’s best. That makes sense—they keep playing, tapping, and turning—and that’s the direction we need to head in, even though we’re still a long way off. It’s not a shame, though. We have a lot to learn from that experience.

In the other Group H match, Porto defeated Shakhtar Donetsk 3-1 in Hamburg, the champion team from Ukraine.

Anita Kobylinska reported from Gdansk, and Ken Ferris and Clare Fallon edited the story.

Credits: Reuters

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