September 19, (THEWILL) – Barcelona made a commanding start to their 2023-24 UEFA Champions League campaign on Tuesday evening, dispatching Belgian side, Royal Antwerp, 5-0 at the Nou Camp.
A Joao Felix brace, along with goals from Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, and Gavi, ensured a stress-free European night for Xavi’s men. The tone was set early on as Felix clinically finished a slick Barcelona move to open the scoring after just 11 minutes. Lewandowski then doubled the advantage minutes later, converting a pinpoint cross from Felix.
Raphinha’s wayward delivery somehow found its way past Antwerp keeper, Jean Butez, to make it 3-0 shortly after. Barcelona seemed content with their advantage and took their foot off the gas for the remainder of the first half. However, the floodgates opened again after the break, Gavi bundling home from close range in the 54th minute before Felix headed home his second just past the hour mark.
Antwerp posed sporadic threats on the counter attack but the Barcelona defence, marshalled by Jules Kounde and Andreas Christensen, never looked troubled. The emphatic scoreline provides Xavi with validation that his rebuild is well on track.
Attention now turns back to La Liga ahead of the weekend visit of Celta Vigo for La Blaugrana while Antwerp host RWD Molenbeek, both on Saturday. However, Barcelona will be confident of making it two UCL wins from two when Shakhtar Donetsk travel to Catalonia on October 4.