Barcelona 5 Viktoria Plzen 1: Robert Lewandowski bangs in a hat-trick as Spaniards cruise to victory
Midfielder Franck Kessie put Barcelona ahead in the 13th minute, and Lewandowski expanded their advantage in the 37th with a right-footed finish into the bottom corner.
After Jan Sykora’s header had dragged the Czech champions back into contention, the Poland striker scored again in first-half stoppage time with a diving header from an Ousmane Dembele cross.
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Midway through the second stanza, Lewandowski completed his triple by meeting a layoff from Ferran Torres and looping the ball inside the far post with one touch.
Torres capped off a fantastic evening for Xavi Hernandez’s team by scoring the fifth goal, putting Barcelona atop Group C. On September 13, they will go to Lewandowski’s previous club Bayern Munich, while Plzen will host Inter Milan.
While Barcelona prepares to face Cadiz, Bayern Munich, and Elche in their final three games before the international break, Plzen will host Inter in their next Champions League match in only six days.
Barcelona’s new era in the Champions League begins with a resounding victory over the Czech champions, thanks to Xavi’s drastically revamped team. The Catalan club brushed off Plzen’s challenge, which was at its greatest for a brief spell in the first half when they drew to within a goal of their hosts.
Overall, it’s a job well done for Barcelona; the visitors will face numerous more difficult assignments in the coming weeks.