Barcelona were inspired to a 5-1 win over Viktoria Plzen on Champions League matchday one by a Robert Lewandowski hat-trick on his first European appearance for the club.
Lewandowski scored 33 Champions League goals for Bayern Munich in the last three seasons alone – including 13 in 2021/22 – and picked up exactly where he left off in his new colours.
But it was actually another new arrival who got the ball rolling at Camp Nou. Franck Kessie connected with his head to nod in Jules Kounde’s header back across goal from a deep in-swinging Ousmane Dembele corner just 13 minutes.
Lewandowski got in on the action around 20 minutes later. Sergi Roberto played him the ball and he just stroked it into the bottom corner from the edge of the penalty area.
Plzen actually threatened to get back into the game on the stroke of half-time, halving the deficit through a Jan Sykora header. But it wasn’t long at all before Lewandowski got his second of the night to restore the two-goal cushion, this time a header that all the work of Dembele on the right.
His hat-trick goal was the pick of the bunch, mimicking his first but a more spectacular version. The lay-off from Ferran Torres was perfectly weight and the veteran Pole again just stroke it into the bottom corner, this time from around 25 yards out.
The fifth and final Barça goal was another Dembele assist, a chipped through ball over the top that Torres lashed in on the turn near the penalty spot.
The result puts Barcelona top of Group C ahead of their matchday two clash with Bayern Munich next week. Before then, they travel to Cadiz in La Liga on Saturday.