The vibes remain immaculate for Barcelona as the Blaugrana put on a second spectacule of attacking football at the Montjuïc Olympic Stadium in a span of four days, sweeping Belgian champions Royal Antwerp 5-0 and kicking off the Champions League group stage. The Barça team once again performed brilliantly, scored some impressive goals and demonstrated its intent as they began their European journey in a dominating manner.
The first half of the year- Barcelona vs Royal Antwerp
It could have been one of those games where the superior side took the weaker side for granted and found themselves in trouble. Unlike in the first half, Barça pressed high up the pitch to win the ball back quickly and then moved it with purpose to create spaces and opportunities from the start of the game.
It took Antwerp five solid minutes to show attacking intent, but they were pinned back and forced to defend for their lives against the Blaugrana machine and had no chance. Before we even reached the halfway point of the match, Barça was sharp and efficient, and pretty much wrapped up the win before we even hit the halfway mark of the
Period of opening-Barcelona vs Royal Antwerp
Starting in the 11th minute with a beautiful passing sequence through the middle that ended with an assist from Ilkay Gundogan, Barcelona scored three goals in 10 minutes, followed by a brilliant goal from Joao Felix, who scored his second goal in a row with a great finish.
It took Félix eight minutes to provide the second goal after receiving an outrageous through ball from Frenkie de Jong and picking out a perfect cross that found Robert Lewandowski at the far post alone to volley home. After another great passing sequence and a cross by Raphinha that hit Antwerp defender Jelle Bataille and went in off the post, the third goal was a bit of luck.
As a result of their easy game, Barcelona’s levels dropped to close out the first half, but they never allowed Antwerp to gain confidence, and the Belgians never truly threatened them.
Barça were playing well at halftime, and the only question was if they would be hungry enough to score more goals in the second half.
The Blaugrana started the second half with new purpose and energy, hungry to score more goals. It paid off as the Blaugrana increased the margin and gave the Montjuc crowd even more reasons to celebrate.
The fourth goal came after yet another beautiful passing combination inside the box 10 minutes into the half, and after a few blocked shots, Gavi fired a rocket into the roof of the net from close range. With 25 minutes left, Joao Felix scored again, heading home a beautiful cross from Raphinha at the far post to make the score five for the home team.
Xavi Hernández made all five substitutions to rest a few players and give youngsters like Fermín López and Lamine Yamal a chance to play extended minutes in Europe for the first time, and both were hungry and dynamic as Barça created chances until the very end.
The final whistle came and Barça had to settle for just a second straight 5-0 home defeat. By thoroughly dominating the worst team in the group and playing great football, this was the ideal way to begin a new European journey. Barça is really fun to watch right now, and it is a pleasure to enjoy watching the team again. It will be tougher games soon, but they are looking good and ready.