Barcelona romped to a fantastic 5-1 win over Viktoria Plzen in the UEFA Champions League on September 7. Robert Lewandowski scored a phenomenal hat-trick to continue his rich vein of form.
Barca pressurized early on and made the breakthrough in the 12th minute. A sweeping Ousmane Dembele corner was flicked on by Jules Kounde.
Franck Kessie reacted quickest to head home his first in Barcelona colors to send the La Liga giants on their way to a comfortable victory.
Kounde now has three assists in as many appearances so far for Barca.
Lewandowski then grabbed his sixth goal of the season in the 34th minute.
The prolific Pole sent a stunning strike past the outstretched Jindrich Stanek, with Sergi Roberto providing the assist.
Plzen a sprung a surprise and pulled one back in the 44th minute when the Czech side broke on the counter and Jan Sykora steered past Marc-Andre ter Stegan.
It would only prove to be mere consolation, however, as the Polish hitman would get on the scoresheet for a second time.
The Pole headed in from close range following Dembele’s dazzling run and perfect cross in the dying embers of added time in the first half.
There was never really any doubting that Lewandowski wouldn’t grab his hat-trick.
The former Bayern Munich striker curled a delightful effort past Stanek after a nice knock-on from Ferran Torres.
It is his sixth hat-trick scored in Champions League competition and his first for Barcelona.
Torres then slotted home Barca’s fifth after he timed his run perfectly to meet Kessie’s dink over the stagnant Plzen back four in the 71st minute.
Xavi Hernandez’s men were deserved winners and romped to victory in style, with Plzen posing little to no threat whatsoever.
Here are some reactions from fans on Twitter to a phenomenal win for the Blaugrana and an electric hat-trick for Lewandowski:
Barcelona could be dark horses in this season’s Champions League with Lewandowski at his best
Barcelona are a team in transition, that much is clear.
However, Xavi’s side are a real treat to watch and they have had an outstanding summer transfer window that has put them in contention to fight among the elite.
The Blaugrana had to sit back and watch their arch rivals Real Madrid lift both the La Liga title and the Champions League trophy last season.
The Catalan giants bowed out of Europe’s elite club competition at the group stage.
That doesn’t feel like it will be the case this time around with the likes of Lewandowski, Raphinha and Kounde now in the side.
The rejuvenated Barca may just be the dark horses of this season’s Champions League.