Yesterday, the Champions League has finally returned to Camp Nou, and Barcelona took action in order to make it one to remember. With a sparkling display, seasoned with spectacular performance and a ton of goals, Xavi’s men made sure to mark this return with a statement victory: we are here, and we are here to take over and conquer the world.
This night, Xavi’s plan was crowned with effectiveness, and the team managed to transform our dominance into goals, and eventually, the well-deserved 3 points. Fluidity in our game worked wonders, and the constant rotations and interchange of positions – reminiscent of total football – allowed us to create superiority in particular zones of the pitch and thus overcome the opposition.
Accordingly, we were the ones to open the score in the 13th minute as Kessié registered his first goal in the Blaugrana colors, after a corner having recrossed by Koundé, and the Ivorian pounced on the ball and headed it home from the edge of the 6-yard box.
However, the answer came right away in a potential penalty situation for the visitors, which could have rewritten the evolution of the match. Moreover, a red card was shown initially to Christensen, which could have upset the power balance, and not in our favor. Thankfully, the VAR intervened and the referee changed his decision, annulling the penalty and the red card as well – rightfully.
The decision in our favor seemingly reignited our confidence, and since that moment, our superiority was unquestionable. Yes, Viktoria managed to tighten the scoreline after a sleepy defensive mistake at a point, but it was enough just to cosmeticize the result. The Garnet and Blue roller totally destroyed the Czechs’ defense, registering 5 goals from a total of 20 shots and an xG of 2.26.
Talking about individuals, who else than Robert Lewandowski took the palm yesterday, with a hat trick and a MOTM in his pocket. The Polish predator was on a serious hunt, with his deadly shots beautifully and precisely placed to beat Stanek in the goal. With that, the Pole has been on fire in the last couple of games, and shredded his slow start of the season, showing the true world-class self of his.
Although Pedri did not score or assist, his backheel near-assist flashed again his great talent, which, combined with his age-belying maturity and composure, already makes him one of the best in the team. Even if his play doesn’t include so many fancy skills like that one, his effectiveness and reliability is always a pivotal piece of Xavi’s system.
Although he spent just 25 minutes on the pitch, Ferrán Torres accumulated a goal and an assist, silencing his haters again who keep criticizing his game just because of his lackluster finishing last season. If he can improve in that aspect of his game, which we saw in his sensational volley goal, he will be a golden boot contender.
And the line could be continued for long, Koundé with yet another assist to his name, Sergi Roberto had a decent game as well, Dembélé, whose importance is not talked about enough as how dangerous weapon his blistering pace and dribbling are in our hands.
Anyways, this game was a true fest for the Blaugrana faithful, a performance worthy of a return to the most prestigious series of all, the Champions League. In fact, it was a warning sign to every one of our opponents that we have serious intentions going into the campaign. And guess who will we face next week. Bayern, we are coming for you. Revenge in the loading.