In his debut Champions League match for Barcelona, Robert Lewandowski scored a fantastic hat trick. He helped his new team defeat Viktoria Plzen 5-1 at Camp Nou on Wednesday.
After Barcelona gained the lead in the 13th minute thanks to Franck Kessie. After that Lewandowski assumed control. Prior to halftime, he scored twice. One on either side of a goal by Jan Sykora briefly revived Plzen’s chances of winning the game.
Midway through the second half, Lewandowski scored his sixth hat trick in the Champions League. And then, with a powerful volley, Ferran Torres added the final touches to the final score.
Lewandowski broke his tie with Karim Benzema to take third place in the all-time Champions League scoring list with 89 goals. Additionally, he made history by being the first participant in the competition to score three hat tricks. The Poland striker has eight goals in five appearances since switching from Bayern Munich to Barcelona in the summer.
Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez characterized Robert as ravenous.
I can’t praise him enough because it’s not only about his hat trick. It’s the way he works and how he learns to control the tempo of the game, Xavi continued. The way he practices, the way he helps the team, his humility, his work rate…
Several of Barcelona’s summer signings were heavily featured in an entertaining first half. Another newcomer, Jules Kounde, headed a corner into Kessie’s path. It allowed him to score his first Champions League goal with a close-range header.
The best of the lot was Lewandowski’s first goal, which came in at minute 34. Lewandowski controlled himself on the outside of the box following a move through the middle from Sergi Roberto. And he side-footed the ball into the corner of the net with his signature perfect precision.
In the third minute of first-half stoppage time, he had an easier assignment. Ousmane Dembele did the majority of the work. He recovered possession of the ball on the right flank before delivering a gorgeous cross that gave Lewandowski the opportunity for a straightforward stooping header at the back post and left the Plzen goalkeeper dazed.
Plzen initially gave the hosts some pause before the scoreboard ran away from them. After VAR determined that Jhon Mosquera’s elbow had hit Barcelona defender Andreas Christensen in the face before the Plzen forward was brought down in front of goal. The Czech champions’ penalty was reversed in the 24th minute.
Plzen took the lead in the 44th minute on a Sykora header off a Vaclav Jemelka cross. But Lewandowski quickly made the difference inconsequential.
Lewandowski put the game beyond doubt in the 67th minute with another brilliantly placed attempt from well beyond the box after restoring Barca’s two-goal advantage just before halftime. After assisting in that endeavor, Torres scored his own goal with an unstoppable volley off of a chipped pass over the defense by Dembele.
We outplayed them, and Xavi emphasized that it was a complete game.
Although they performed a terrific job of man-marking us and defended well against us. Dembele was exceptional and Lewandowski made all the difference. We were the better team, and I’m happy with both the starters and the men who came off the bench. Everyone was eager to participate.
Barcelona will visit Lewandowski’s previous club, Bayern Munich, for the next Champions League encounter on Tuesday. On the same day, Plzen will play Inter Milan, which finished last in Group C.
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