In their debut UEFA Champions League match at Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys, FC Barcelona showcased their dominance with a resounding 5-0 victory over Royal Antwerp, leaving the Belgians with a stern lesson in top-tier European football making it their second 5 nil win in two games.
The Catalan giants wasted no time making their mark, as João Félix, in his inaugural UCL appearance for Barcelona, beautifully slotted home a Barça-style goal just 11 minutes in. Robert Lewandowski added to the tally, notching his 100th goal in UEFA club competitions, thanks to Félix’s assist and a precise through pass from Frenkie de Jong.
Jelle Bataille’s unfortunate own goal, deflecting a Raphinha cross into his net, compounded Antwerp’s woes, giving Barcelona a 3-0 lead by the 22nd minute. Antwerp’s first shot came just before halftime, but Arbnor Muja’s attempt was comfortably handled by Marc-André ter Stegen.
The second half continued the Barcelona onslaught, with Gavi scoring his first-ever Champions League goal with a powerful strike from his weaker left foot. Félix, still in fine form, notched his second with a header from a sublime Raphinha cross.
The match also saw the introduction of 16-year-old Lamine Yamal, who had several near misses, showcasing the bright future of Barcelona’s youth.
The result instilled confidence in Barcelona’s campaign, aiming to avoid a repeat of last year’s group stage exit. Conversely, it was a harsh initiation for Royal Antwerp, who now await their first home game against Shakhtar Donetsk, a reminder of the unforgiving nature of the Champions League at this level. Barcelona’s performance was a testament to their prowess, setting a formidable tone for the campaign ahead.