Barcelona crush Royal Antwerp 5-0, thanks to Felix’s double

Photo of Joao Felix

On September 19th in Barcelona, Spain, the newly acquired Barcelona forward, Joao Felix, scored twice in a 5-0 win against Royal Antwerp, marking the start of their Champions League Group H campaign at the Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys on Tuesday.

After experiencing two consecutive eliminations in the group stage, Barcelona delivered a football masterclass to the newcomers, Royal Antwerp. They asserted dominance by controlling possession and employing quick passing, resulting in goals from Felix, Lewandowski, and Gavi.

Coach Xavi Hernandez expressed his thoughts, saying, “Between this triumph and our 5-0 victory over Betis last Saturday, I believe this represents the highest level of performance we’ve reached since I assumed my role.”

“We’re on the right track, and I take great pride in the team’s performance.”

In an exciting turn of events, Joao Felix, who was signed at the last minute, opened the scoring for the home team with their first attempt in the 11th minute, slotting the ball neatly into the net just inside the near post.

Following this, the Portuguese talent assisted Robert Lewandowski inside the penalty area, doubling their lead eight minutes later. This achievement made the Polish striker the third player to achieve 100 goals in European competitions, following in the footsteps of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Raphinha played a part in extending the lead to 3-0 for the five-time European champions after 22 minutes, as his shot from a challenging angle took a deflection off defender Jelle Bataille, resulting in an unfortunate own goal.

Winger Arbnor Muja had a brief opportunity to provide the visiting team with a glimmer of hope just before halftime, but his low effort from the edge of the box was denied by goalkeeper Marc Andre ter Stegen.

Barcelona returned from halftime with a determined resolve to further extend their lead in their 28th Champions League group-stage campaign, a competition record shared with Real Madrid. They wasted no time, as Gavi made it 4-0 by powerfully striking the ball into the top of the net, followed by another goal from Joao Felix, who headed the ball home to complete the rout at Barcelona’s temporary home while Camp Nou is undergoing redevelopment.

Barcelona’s dominance was evident with 22 goal attempts compared to Antwerp’s meager three, despite the Belgian team’s participation in the Champions League after winning their domestic league title for the first time in over 60 years last season.

This marks the Belgian side’s fifth consecutive European campaign and their second appearance in the continent’s premier club competition since they participated in the European Cup during the 1957-58 season.

Antwerp coach Mark van Bommel remarked, “Barcelona scored with their first three shots on target. They are at the pinnacle of football, which is understandable considering their style of play, control, and precision. Our goal is to reach that level, but we acknowledge that there is still a long journey ahead. Nevertheless, this serves as a valuable learning experience for us.”

In the other Group H matchup, Porto secured a 3-1 victory over the Ukrainian champions, Shakhtar Donetsk, in Hamburg.


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