Barcelona, led by their new forward Joao Felix, delivered an impressive performance in their Champions League Group H opener against Royal Antwerp, securing a resounding 5-0 victory at the Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys on Tuesday. This win followed their recent 5-0 triumph against Betis and was hailed by coach Xavi Hernandez as the best display of football under his leadership.
The Portuguese sensation, Joao Felix, opened the scoring in the 11th minute with a precise low shot. He then turned provider, assisting Robert Lewandowski eight minutes later, making Lewandowski the third player in history to reach 100 goals in European competition, alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
Barcelona’s domination continued as Raphinha’s strike deflected off Antwerp’s Jelle Bataille for an own goal, bringing the score to 3-0 by the 22nd minute. Antwerp had a fleeting chance to respond, but goalkeeper Marc Andre ter Stegen kept out Arbnor Muja’s attempt.
In the second half, Barcelona’s youthful talent Gavi added to the scoreline with a powerful shot into the roof of the net, extending their lead to 4-0. Joao Felix then capped off the rout with a header, completing his brace. This convincing victory showcased Barcelona’s dominance, evident in their 22 goal attempts compared to Antwerp’s three.
Antwerp, participating in the Champions League after a historic domestic league title win, faced a formidable Barcelona side. Despite the result, their coach, Mark van Bommel, recognized the learning experience, acknowledging Barcelona’s fluid and dynamic style of play.
This performance marked Barcelona’s 28th Champions League group-stage campaign, a record they share with Real Madrid. Barcelona’s fans can revel in their team’s renewed vigor under Xavi’s management, while Antwerp continues to learn and grow on the European stage.