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Joao Felix Leads Barcelona to Dominant 5-0 Victory

 Joao Felix Leads Barcelona to Dominant 5-0 Victory 

Joao Felix Leads Barcelona to Dominant 5-0 Victory
Joao Felix Leads Barcelona to Dominant 5-0 Victory (Image-Getty) 

Barcelona's new forward, Joao Felix, showcased his talent with a brace in a commanding 5-0 victory over visiting Royal Antwerp in their Champions League Group H opener at the Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys on Tuesday.

Barcelona, determined to make amends after consecutive group-stage eliminations, delivered a football masterclass, dominating possession with swift passing. Joao Felix, Robert Lewandowski, and Gavi were among the scorers.

Coach Xavi Hernandez expressed his satisfaction with the performance, stating, "Between this win and the 5-0 against Betis on Saturday, I think this is probably the best quality of play we've produced since I took over. This is the road we want to be on. The team's making me proud."

Joao Felix, the last-minute signing, opened the scoring for Barcelona in the 11th minute with a precise low strike inside the near post, marking a promising start.

The Portuguese forward then turned provider, setting up Robert Lewandowski inside the box, who found the net eight minutes later. This milestone goal made Lewandowski the third player in history to score 100 goals in European competition, joining the elite company of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Barcelona continued to assert their dominance as Raphinha's strike from a tight angle deflected off defender Jelle Bataille for an own goal, extending the lead to 3-0 after just 22 minutes.

Antwerp winger Arbnor Muja had a chance to provide a glimmer of hope for the visitors just before halftime, but his effort from the edge of the box was thwarted by goalkeeper Marc Andre ter Stegen.

Barcelona returned for the second half with a clear intention to widen their advantage, marking their 28th Champions League group-stage campaign, a competition record shared with Real Madrid.

Their determination paid off as Gavi smashed the ball into the roof of the net to make it 4-0. Joao Felix added another goal to his tally with a well-timed header, completing the emphatic victory at Barcelona's temporary home while Camp Nou undergoes redevelopment.

Barcelona's dominance was evident in the statistics, with 22 goal attempts compared to only three from Antwerp, who were participating in the Champions League after winning their domestic league title for the first time in over 60 years last season. This marked the Belgian side's fifth successive campaign in Europe and their second in the continent's premier club competition, with their last appearance dating back to the 1957-58 season.

Antwerp coach Mark van Bommel acknowledged Barcelona's prowess, saying, "(Barcelona's) first three shots on target were three goals for them. They are on top of the world. That makes sense, they keep playing, tapping, turning, that's where we have to go but we're still a long way from that, but that's no shame. That is a very big learning moment for us."

In the other Group H clash, Porto defeated Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk 3-1 in Hamburg.

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