Lewandowski plays with the ambition of a youngster and the wisdom of a veteran who just turned 34. The fan has discovered with amazement a striker who not only scores goals like when he was at Bayern, but also leads a team orphaned by Messi. The Pole doesn’t rest, he plays the difficult and easy games, bursts the net with his aim, distributes assists, commits fouls like a defender and reads the game like a central midfielder, converted into a total footballer, luckily for Barca. Lewandowski’s repertoire illustrated the European premiere at the Camp Nou.
Ter Stegen, Kounde, Alba, Sergi Roberto (Pique, min. 45), A. Christensen, Kessie Franck (Pablo Torre, min. 80), Frenkie De Jong, Pedri (Gavi, min. 74), Ousmane Dembele (Depay, min. 74), Ansu Fati (Ferran Torres, min. 65) and Lewandowski
Jindrich Stanek, Ludek Pernica, Milan Havel, Hejda, Vaclav Jemelka (Libor Holik, min. 85), Adam Vlkanova, Pavel Bucha, John Mosquera (Erik Jirka, min. 78), Jan Sykora (Vaclav Pilar, min. 78), Lukas Kalvach and Tomas Chory (Fortune Akpan Bassey, min. 65)
goals 1-0 min. 12: Kessie Franck. 2-0 min. 33: Lewandowski. 2-1 min. 43: Jan Sykora. 3-1 min. 47: Lewandowski. 4-1 min. 66: Lewandowski. 5-1 min. 70: Ferran Torres.
Referee Lawrence Visser
Yellow cards Ludek Pernica (min. 3), John Mosquera (min. 26), Tomas Chory (min. 55) and Vaclav Jemelka (min. 61)
The performance of the center forward monopolized a grateful encounter for the fans of Barcelona. Even the Barca team itself seemed to be a spectator of the Show Lewandowski. The Barcelona players accompanied their striker’s recital with an irreproachable attitude in the face of the impotence of Viktoria Plzen. Dembele’s elegance and Kounde’s elasticity should not be underestimated. The eyes of the fans, however, did not stop following Lewandowski after the obligatory whistle against the Champions League anthem.
The 9 Barca already has 89 goals in 107 games, after the three he had against the Czech champion, and is on the top scorers podium of the tournament led by Cristiano Ronaldo with 141, followed by Messi, who totals 125. And he was able to score a fourth if Ansu Fati had not blindly claimed his status as a gunner before being substituted when Xavi was already thinking about Cadiz and naturally in Munich, the game that on Tuesday will be a unique challenge for both Barcelona and Lewandowski.
Xavi has already changed half the team compared to the one that thrashed Sevilla and Valladolid because he was thinking of Bayern. He touched the defense, the midfield and the forward and, however, the news was not the ownership of Alba, nor that of Ansu Fati and less the position of central midfielder of Frenkie de Jong, but the substitution of Pique. The center-back did not play, nor did he warm up, but watched and trained before and after the games, until the coach released him at half-time for Sergi Roberto. The rotations did not affect Barca’s offensive plan. It is enough for Lewandowski to play.
The azulgrana took the ball, loaded the attacking game and defended with more aggressiveness than order because the match took the direction that Dembele wanted from the start. Driving alternated with turnovers and there were more corner kicks than chances against Stanek. No one imagined a goal from a corner taking into account the height and corpulence of the Viktoria athletes until Dembele hung the leather into the area from the right pennant of the Barcelona attack and from Kounde’s head he went to Kessie’s to sing the 1-0.
Kounde appears as an assistant in Barca’s last goals. The French dominates the areas, as solvent in his as in the rival, firmer than Christensen. The Dane was reduced by Mosquera with an elbow after a double jump won by the Czechs that did not end in a penalty due to the intervention of the Var. The referee awarded the penalty and sent off Christensen after he swept the Colombian in the fall to complaints from the Barcelona players. The referee corrected himself and admonished Mosquera.
The move stunned the Catalans until Lewandowski appeared. The Pole received from Sergi Roberto on the balcony of the area, controlled the ball, oriented himself and placed it next to Stanek’s left post: 2-0. Lewandowski does not rest, involved as a striker and as a player, as effective as he was as it was noticed later in a backheel that Pedri could not clinch and later when finishing off a center by Dembele: 3-1. The striker’s two shots had ended in a goal to the misfortune of the demanded Stanek.
Lewandowski appeared punctually to mark the timing of the game, when it was convenient to secure victory, also when Viktoria discussed it with a goal from Sykora after a bad rejection by the Barca defense and a cross from Jemelka, and finally to crown their own performance and an excellent maneuver by Ferran. The Pole then embraced a self-absorbed crowd from the start and ended up hypnotized with a fifth goal in a reverse by Ferran after Dembele’s heavenly left foot touch. Nothing better than 5, the magic digit of Barcelona, to highlight a great night for the fans, for the coach, for the players —Pablo Torre even made his debut— and for Xavi. Barca travels from rout to rout mounted on Lewandowski’s cannon: 0.83 goals on average in the Champions League.
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Source: EL PAIS