Barcelona signed off from the Champions League with a win against Viktoria Pizen as they now prepare to embark on a Europa League adventure instead.
The Catalan giants dominated possession but had fewer shots, and shots on target, than their opponents, but they were in clinical mood in front of goal.
Barca knew they were unable to catch Bayern Munich and Inter in the group’s top two places prior to kick-off in Czech Republic, and that Plzen also couldn’t leapfrog them into third.
It took only six minutes for Marcos Alonso to fire the visitors into an early lead, poking the ball in from pretty much on the goal-line after Ansu Fati’s shot was saved.
Ferran Torres was responsible for doubling the lead right before half-time. But not before a flurry of Plzen chances, including Tomas Chory hitting the crossbar and putting the pressure. It meant that Torres provided some welcome relief for Barça and struck a bitter blow to the hosts.
It was a splendid half volley, although there was a wait for VAR to review things after a potential offside was flagged up and the goal was eventually allowed to stand.
Plzen cut the deficit straight after half-time when Chory converted from the penalty spot. The Czech striker had won it himself after being tripped by Pablo Torre.
However, no sooner had the lead been cut when it was restored to two goals once more. It was Torres again with his second of the game after exchanging passes with Raphinha.
Plzen continued to make a game of it when Chory pulled it back to 3-2 with almost half an hour left on the clock, before teenager Torre made up for earlier conceding the penalty by notching one at the other end to pull Barcelona out of reach for the final time.
*Ratings per FotMob
Viktoria Plzen player ratings
GK: Jindrich Stanek (6); RB: Libor Holik (6), CB: Lukas Hejda (5), CB: Ludek Pernica (5), LB: Vaclav Jemelka (6); CM: Modou N'Diaye (6), CM: Lukas Kalvach (6); RM: Erik Jirka (7), AM: Adam Vlkanova (7), LM: Vaclav Pilar (6); ST: Tomas Chory (9)
Subs: Pavel Bucha (6), Milan Havel (6), Fortune Bassey (6), Ales Cermak (6), Adam Kronus (N/A)
Barcelona player ratings
GK: Inaki Pena (8); RB: Hector Bellerin (7), CB: Gerard Pique (8), CB: Marcos Alonso (9), LB: Jordi Alba (8); CM: Gavi (8), CM: Franck Kessie (7), CM: Pablo Torre (7); RW: Raphinha (9), ST: Ferran Torres (9), LW: Ansu Fati (7)
Sub: Alejandro Balde (6), Marc Cusado (6), Ousmane Dembele (6), Alvaro Sanz (6)