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Barcelona BCN
5
Kessié Franck 12',Lewandowski 33', 47', 66',Ferrán Torres 70'
Viktoria Plzen VIK
1
Jan Sykora 43'
Finished

Barcelona - Viktoria Plzen summary: score, goals and highlights, Champions League 2022/23

Update:
Barcelona's Polish forward Robert Lewandowski celebrates after scoring his team's third goal during the UEFA Champions League Group C first-leg football match between FC Barcelona and Viktoria Plzen, at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on September 7, 2022. (Photo by Pau BARRENA / AFP)

Are Barca Back?

Though nobody will be terribly surprised that the Catalan side won comfortably - 5-1 to be precise - it was the manner in which they did that will likely have fans and opponents talking well into the night.

Indeed, Xavi's new look Barcelona showed a degree of versatility tonight that the Catalans have long been criticized for lacking. Gone is the one dimensional - albeit sensational - Tiki Taka side which relied on more of Plan A as a Plan B. That's not to say there wasn't plenty of technical flair and passing precision on show, but the Blaugrana put on a clinic in reading rhythm and switching between horizontal and vertical, effortlessly.

Who were the main characters in the production? In the first half it was the 'young' veteran Sergi Roberto who seemed to be doing everything in service of his team. From defending to play making and even having a few attempts at goal himself, the blonde haired central midfielder was just about everywhere.

Yet, we've got to talk about Ousmane Dembele. It's incredible to believe that less than a year ago, there was a rift between the Frenchman and the club that threatened to see him go through the door. With all of that seemingly in the past, the former Dortmund winger lit up the Nou Camp over and over tonight.True though it is that Robert Lewandowski score three wonderful goals, the reality is, that's what they signed him for. They were all amazing by the way. Dembele on the other hand wasn't just running at defenders or providing assists, he was also working back and defending without hesitation. It was a performance for the ages.

Of course mention must go to the well-organized Plzen side. In truth, few teams would have come out of the Nou Camp tonight with a positive result and in all but one of the goals - Kessie's opener - there was exquisite individual play involved. The Czech side will have a tough time in this group, but they can leave Barcelona tonight knowing they performed credibly.

With that, we hope you enjoyed our live text coverage here on AS USA and we hope you'll be back with us for Matchday 2 of the UEFA Champions League!

When you've just come on as a sub, what's the best way to say hi?

After setting up Lewadowski for his third goal, the former Valencia and Man City man got himself on the scoresheet with a highly technical volley from close range to make it 5-1. A good time was had by all.

Lewandowski's 3rd was lovely to watch

They brought him to Barcelona to score goals and that's exactly what he did tonight. Three of them!

90+3

It's all over here in the Camp Nou and Barca open their Champions League campaign with an emphatic 5-1 victory over Viktoria Plzen.

90+2

Still they probe with one minute of stoppage time left. It's been a grand exhibition tonight in what the Catalans have to offer. Bayern and Inter Milan beware.

90+1

DeJong apparently didn't get the memo and drives forward only to be fouled for his efforts. Barca restart and Depay goes into showboat mode.

90

We;ve entered the 90th minute and we will have 3 minutes of stoppage time.

89

Jolik again finds daylight on the right and his cross is decent, but it's headed out for a corner. The resulting clearnace is not a decent one and Ter Stegen is forced to punch out the subsequent cross.

87

A great pass to the right side for Jolik, but the Plzen winger is unable to find anyone in the box. Ter Stegen collects and begins anew with Pique.

86

With the match essentially over, Barca have settled into maintaining possession. Plzen on the other hand continue to do themselves credit by fighting on.

85

Plzen with their final change. Vaclav Jemelka leaves for Libor Holik

83

5-1 says it all

Just a reminder if you're just joining us. It's been an entertaining match here in the Nou Camp between Barcelona and Viktoria Plzen. The score is currently 5-1 as we head to the end of it. Three goals from Robert Lewandowski, one from Kessie and one from Ferran Torres for Barca and on the Czech side we've seen one from Sykora. It's been a clinic.

82

After a clever combination between the Dutch Duo (Depay and DeJong) the latter goes to ground but the ref sees nothing wrong with the challenge and waves play on.

82

The ball makes it's way all the way back to Ter Stegen who plays short to Pique. Off we go again.

81

Memphis Depay gives the fans reason to hold their heads with an outrageous piece of skill. They'll want to see that again on the tele later tonight.

80

Kessie leaves to make way for Pablo Torre. The young academy product will have ten minutes to show the Nou Camp faithful why he's been given a spot in Xavi's side.

79

We're entering the last 10 minutes of the match and the score sits at 5-1. It's been a glorious night for the Catalans.

77

PLzen with three changes.

Cermak is in for Adam Vlkanova
Sykora is out for Pilar
Mosquera leaves for Jirka

76

We're approaching the 80th minute and as you know the score is 5-1. Plzen see their attack brought to an end and DeJong feeds Depay, who in turn plays a one-two with Kounde but the return to him is just too long. Goalkick to Plzen.

75

Lewandowski tracks back to win the ball, much to the liking of the fans and immediately plays a cross, but it's too deep and Plzen survive.

74

Memphis to take the corner that was delayed and here we go. Plzen manage to clear an Barca retreat to the half line. They work the ball around and look for Depay but the pass is cut out.

73

Barca will make two more changes with Pedir leaving to a standing ovation and Gavi coming into replace him. Then we've got Dembele leaving for Memphis Depay. What a night the Frenchman has had.

73

The Plzen players are beaten - true - but they are not disgraced.

71

With the score at 5-1, it would be safe to say that the three points are secure. This will serve as a marker to the other two teams in the group, Inter Milan and Bayern Munich.

70

Off of the clearance the ball is controlled and immediately played back over the defense by Dembele - of course - to a waiting Ferran Torres who volleys it into the roof of the net. It's the stuff of Harlem Globe Trotters now, except it's a football match in Spain.

69

With disdain Dembele drifts past another and then with venom he has a go at goal forcing a save out of Plzen's keeper.

69

While it's just the first game of their campaign, there's no doubt that the Culers will be singing long into the night. What will they be singing? Barca is back!

67

And that's 3 for Robert Lewandowski

After beautiful buildup play involving several first time passes, the ball was laid off to Lewandowski infront of the area and with a curling side-footed shot, the Polish goal machine finds his 3rd. 4-1 to Barca!

66

By himself Dembele has provided the highlight reel for the night. His latest slalom exposing the defense yet again.

65

Both sides will make changes with Tomas Chory making way for Fortune Bassey and Barca's Ansu Fati does the same for Ferran Torres.

65

Out of nowhere, Plzen mount a counter and after a decent cross to the back post Thomas Chory is unlucky not to guide it home, sparing Catalan blushes.

64

Incredible pass from Dembele to the back post where Jordi Alba is waiting but the wing back's attempted one time cross is too soft and nothing comes of it.

62

The resulting freekick is chipped over the wall to Lewandowski, who's backward header finds Kessie but the ball is cleared. The half clearance falls to Pedri who rifles high over the bar.

62

Vaclav Jemelka  is booked for his troubles.

61

Dembele again dimisses two and makes his way to the area, this time the Plzen players have seen enough and he is brought down just outside the area.

60

There are Barca players warming up. With UEFA's recently change to substitution quantity - it's now 5 - we can expect to see other players soon enough.

59

Barca are now back to their intense approach, but the referee actually blocks what would have been an incisive pass and the Czechs are allowed to break, which leads to a foul. Plzen to play, but the ball is quickly lost an Barca go again.

58

It's pretty clear at this point that Ousmane Dembele can do as he wishes with the ball. After gliding past three defenders and entering the area, he appears to have stumbled at the moment he was about to shoot.

58

For the moment there has been a slight lull in play, but it would be a mistake to think there aren't more goals in this one with the level of quality at Barca's disposal.

57

Kessie is blown for a foul and with reason after he was judged to have used a body check to displace his marker.

56

Ansu drifts inside, but his weighted pass to DeJong misses its mark and Plzen survive. Back to Ter Stegen the ball goes after a long clearance and Plzen now face another wave.

55

Thomas Chory with the first card of the night after a foul on Pedri. There was no malicious intent.

54

Obligated to play home, the Catalans go again. This time it's over to the right where Dembele awaits but he brings it back to the left. Now it's Pedri's turn, but following some miscommunication, they give up the ball. Plzen to throw.

53

Barca will have another corner and they play short.Pedri receives at the top of the box and Barca go to classic Tiki Taka. the play almost sets Dembele free infront of goal, but Plzen are just able to clear.

52

Barca are probing now and Fati and Alba combine well on the left. Finally the ball comes to DeJong after a deflected pass and the Dutchman tries a cross, but it's out for a corner. Dembele to take.

51

Lewandowski is played in by Dembele on the right side, but after rounding the keeper his touch is too heavy and Plzen will have a goal kick.

50

Following the freekick which caused no trouble, Barca are off and running again. Pique looks for Fati on the left who immediately finds Lewandowski.The Pole plays a deft chip over the defense to Jordi Alba, who himself is surprised by the quality and unable to get off his shot. It should have been 4.

48

Plzen will have a freekick in a dangerous position just outside Barca's area after a DeJong foul.

47

Down the left Pedri goes, but he's quickly halted by a cyncical foul, frustration is beginning to show in the Plzen players.Once again Dembele teases the defense on the right side, but his cross is too deep and Plzen will have a free kick after Lewandowski commits a foul.

47

The opening exchanges of the second half have started much the same as the first, which is to say Barca pressuring and Plzen trying to put out fires.

45

Off we go once again and Barca have the ball. Immediately Ansu Fati is played in down the left side by Jordi Alba, but the young foward is unable to keep his shot down and Lewandowski gives him a tap around the head for his troubles.

Barca makes a change

Sergi Roberto is out for Gerard Pique.

We're back!

The players are out on the field again and we will have some changes.

Luck is an attribute that the skilled possess

Though many will say the deflection helped, there was still work to be done and the Plzen players did it. A decent first goal for the Czech side.

Then we have the 2nd

Following an unreal play by Dembele and then some defensive work to boot, the Frenchman provided for Lewandowski's second with a classy cross.

What can we say about Robert Lewandowski

There is class and there is Lewadowski. Lovely strike from the big man.

Kessie's goal

Here's a look at Kessie's opener in the 13th minute!

A First half show!

If you're just joining us, it's been a breathless first half as Barca constantly piled on the pressure. With that said the Catalans now lead 3-1 at the half. Whether it was Sergi Roberto's leader like performance, Lewandowski's well documented class, Ansu Fati's unpredictability or Dembele's outright direspect for the opposing defense, it's been something to see.

Goals came courtesy of Kessie who opened his Champions League account with Barcelona to put the Catalans 1-0 up. Then Lewandowski - who else - provided two others.

It must be said, however, that the Czech outfit knew what they were up against coming to the Nou Camp and they have not surrendered. A VAR canceled penalty and a cleverly worked first goal should give them some degree of confidence about the idea that they can play with the best.

Regardless, Let us welcome you to our live text coverage of FC Barcelona vs Viktoria Plzen here on AS USA!

45+3

With that, the referee brings things to a close and the players head in for halftime.

45+2

Dembele AGAIN! After taking on the entire defense was more, he was dispossessed, but as he's clearly plugged in, he wasn't having it. The Frenchman tackled back for his own error and then provided a cross to the back post for the waiting Lewandowski to head home. 3-1 Barca!

45+1

Sometimes Dembele doesn't need any help as he shows by taking on the entire defense an ends with an incredible shot that is just saved.

45+1

We're now in the first of three minutes of stoppage and despite the obvious dominance of the home team, it must be said that Plzen has not at any point stopped fight. Definitely worth the goal they now have.

43

From the start of the play you could see Plzen looked as though they had intent and in the end were rewarded. A deflected ball found Vaclav Jemelka on the left who crossed for a headed goal from Sykorra at point blank range. 2-1 in Barca's favor.

42

Immediately off the long boot, Ansu Fati is set free and after taking the defense on by himself see's his fierce effort deflected for a corner.

41

After a period of playing left to right, Dembele surprises with a slick ball into the box for Sergi Roberto, but the man of the night so far just can't get his boot to it and Plzen will have a goal kick.

39

After another backheeled ball from Lewandowski, Pedri strolls into the area and is just thwarted by the last defender before his placed shot crosses the goal line. They are playing exhibition style football at this point.

38

To the left they go again and then back to the right. The Catalans continue to probe until finally Dembele picks out Lewandowski who tries to outrageously lift the ball over his marker with his first touch.

38

A clever play again involving Sergi Roberto who finds Jordi Alba on the left, but the wingback's low cutback is just behind the advancing Ansu Fati. Plzen survive.

37

Plzen continue to battle, but one gets the feeling this could and probably will, get worse.

36

This time is Sergi Roberto himself who decides to have a go. Helped slightly by a deflection, the holding midfielder almost got his name on the sheet, with his weaker foot no less!

34

Sergi Roberto is having a solid night on both sides of the field as he gets in the mix to make an all important tackle. With that Ansu Fati switches to Dembele who then find De Jong at the top of the area. The Dutchman's effort is charged down and Barca retreat.

33

And then there were 2. After tidy play by Sergio Roberto, Lewandowski is sought out and the former Munich man obliges with a low curling shot from outside the area to the right side of goal. 2-0 Barcelona.

32

Plzen play long, but too long and Ter Stegen will play to the right where Kessie awaits. The former Milan man has taken to the Catalan setup like a fish takes to water and has a goal to confirm it.

31

Cleared, Pedri is the one who controls it outside the area - deftly at that - an they attempt to play back to the left, but this time Kessie is called offside.

30

Round and round the Catalans go until Jordi Alba tries a cross from the left side. Deflected, the Blaugrana will now have a corner. Fati to take.

29

The Czech side manage to win the ball and break down the left. Sikora is proving to be a worthy opponent for Barca's defense, but in the end he's crowded out and BArca break through Dembele. The Frenchman is forced to retreat and once again the switch the left side.

28

Dembele slaloms into the middle of the field and finds Fati on the left. They are playing left to right at this point as they look for an entry. Plzen must be credited for staying compact - they knew they'd have to surely.

27

Immediately the Blaurgrana are back at it and after scramble in the box they have a corner, which is promptly cleared an they will play all the way back to Ter Stegen. Off we go again.

25

Scrap that! After turning to VAR, Plzen's forward Mosquera inadvertently elbowed Christensen in the face and in the end is actually given a yellow card. The Catalans collectively wipe their brows in relief!

22

And just like that, the match changes! After what appeared to be a harmless ball, Chory broke free forcing Christensen into a last ditch effort that wasn't legal

21

Incredible from Pedri. Just when Plzen thought they had him closed down close to his own area, the Spanish prodigy simply 'floated' out of the space that wasn't there. With that a counter was mounted ending in a through ball to Lewandowski who just couldn't turn it back across goal. Plzen go again.

20

A ball to the marauding Jordi Alba is just too far on the left side and Plzen will have a breather before their goal kick.

19

Dembele is most definitely the protagonist tonight and shows it by tracking back to win the ball after a misplaced past. The Nou Camp faithful show their appreciation. The score remains 1-0 and Barca start again.

17

The Czech side will need to work on not giving away the ball if they hope to avoid a mauling. This time it was Ansu Fati who was the recipient of a bad pass from the Czech side and he almost scored with a curling shot to the right side of goal.

16

Pedri with a beautiful long ball to Sergi Roberto who gets Dembele involved. The Frenchman obliges with an audacious piece of skill. but in the end he's crowded out and Plzen go again.

15

Probing once again the Catalans retreat to their own keeper and begin once again.

Barca lead 1-0

If you've just joined us, a warm welcome from everyone here on AS USA. It's Champions League night and we've got a Group C clash with FC Barcelona and Viktoria Plzen. At the moment it's 1-0 to Barca!

13

And there it is! From Dembele's corner Kessie gets his first UCL goal in Barca colors. 1-0 to FC Barcelona!

12

New boy Joules Kounde gets involved and again the look for Dembele down the right. Barca will have another corner after the winger's cross is blocked. The third for the night.

11

Barca restart and almost immediately have an opportunity after decent work down the left by Ansu Fati. The Academy product finds Lewandowski who sees his cross blocked and Plzen live to fight another play.

10

A dangerous cross from Dembele on the right side finds Lewandowski whos one time shot is deflected for a corner. Plzen will breathe a sigh of relief and more as they break through Sikora, but in the end what would have been a glorious counter attack is halted by an 'offside' call.

09

The ball goes straight to the Catalans who immediately begin to build again. All 11 of Plzen's players are behind the ball.

08

To Dembele we go, who plays a classy ball into the path of Sergi Roberto, the blonde utility player is just unable to get his foot to it and we have a goal kick.

07

Almost a critical error in midfield, an errant pass was capitlaized on by the Czech side but in the end their Chory was finally halted just short of the Blaugrana area.

07

The Catalans work the ball to the left side and then back again to the right, preferring to work the ball horizontally while looking for an in.

06

Plzen have a throw on the left side of field but are harried off the ball immediately. Unable to make something of their sudden possession, Barca themselves are left with a throw.

05

For the moment the Czech side is hemmed into their own half, but such is often the case when playing in the Nou Camp.

04

A clever training ground set-piece is capped off with a chip over the defense, but Plzen's keeper is conscious of the danger and manages to punch it out.

04

Dembele to take.

04

Plzen break but it's immediately cut out and Barca break through Dembele who is promtly fouled on the right side of the filed close to the corner of the area. The Catalans have a free kick.

03

After some classy buildup the ball is laid off to left side and the resulting cross goes wanting. Lewandowski goes down in the box to shouts and appeals from the crowd, but the referee isn't having it.

02

Barca are building slowly from the back for the moment as they attempt to get a feel for Plzen's form

01

And we're off and running and almost immediately Sergi Roberto provides a dangerous ball but it's deflected out. Ousmane Dembele will provide the corner.

It's almost time!

With less than 10 minutes to go before kickoff, the Nou Camp in Barcelona is full and the players are raring to go.

Once again we'd like to give you a warm welcome to our live text coverage here on AS USA. Tonight we've got the opening game of Group C in the 2022 UEFA Champions League between FC Barcelona and Viktoria Plzen.

This one promises to be quite a show so stick around as we will be bringing it to you play by play!

The players are out and getting ready!

In case you had forgotten.

Head 2 Head

In case you're wondering, this is how they match up. While the Czech outfit will be happy that a certain No. 10 isn't on the field tonight, it likely won't be an easier time given the way in which Barca have rebuilt since his departure.

What about Viktoria Plzen's starters?

The Czech side will have their hands full, but they have no reason to fear having made it this far. What happens next, is partially up to them.

FCB's Official Starting 11

With less than an hour to go before kickoff, we've got Barca's starting lineup!

A little bit about the visitors: Viktoria Plzen

While they don't have the illustrious European history of their hosts tonight, Plzeň are not to be taken lightly. This will in fact be their fourth appearance in the UEFA Champions League, but their first since the 2018/19 season.

In each of their last three forays into the UCL, they finished third in their group and in truth, were they to do so again, it could well be counted as a victory given the quality of opposition they will face. With that said, a third place finish would secure a Europa League spot.

Yet, as we all know, football is played on the day and with Chelsea's loss to Dinamo Zagreb last night, you can bet they will be taking some confidence from it. That's before we even mention the fact that they are currently on a club-record 34-game unbeaten competitive run (W25, D9), as they look for their first ever win on Spanish soil.

Where this year's competition is concerned, the Czech outfit has won five of their six qualifying matches - granted against lesser sides - which is to say they like the taste of European football. While Barcelona are certainly a different side from the ones they would have played to get here, stranger things have happened.

From the Manager's mouth

Though his pragmatism can be respected, it shouldn't be mistaken for defeatism. Expect the Czech side to come in hot.

Who remembers this?

If one thing is certain about the last time the two sides met, it's that there are a whole lot of Plzen fans who are probably trying to forget. There really wasn't anyone like 'Don Andres' and quite frankly, there probably never will be again.

Who else is playing tonight?

Here's a look at the other sides in action tonight, on what promises to be an intense football fiesta. With regards to Group C itself, we've also got Inter Milan taking on Bayern Munich!

The Predicted Starting 11s

Though not confirmed for the moment, these are the starting lineups widely expected to take to the field in Camp Nou tonight. Is it what you expected or are there any surprises?

The Man in the Middle

In what is surely going to be a highly charged affair, all eyes will be on the Belgian in the mix. Where the Catalans are concerned, they will definitely be hoping that his last appearance isn't a sign of things to come.

In case you forgot...

It's going down tonight! So, stay with us and we'll give you all you need to know about how it all plays out!

A look at the last session before Viktoria Plzen

There has been a genuine sense of hope and positivity surrounding the team of late, something which is direct contrast to the vibe that was felt just a year ago. Yet, such is the way of football with things and players changing rapidly.

The Catalans know that they don't just need to win, but they need to win impressively, having amassed what must be considered - on paper at least - one of the most dangerous squads in football today.

Can they make good on the obvious promise that they possess? The answer to that question may take a while to formulate, but rest assured it will begin tonight. Stay with us!

Welcome to AS USA

Matchday 1 in the 2022 UEFA Champions League continues with an intriguing fixture between the new and shiny FC Barcelona and the plucky Czech champions Viktoria Plzen.

With that said, we'd like to give you a warm welcome from all of us here at AS USA as we will be bringing you our live text coverage throughout the game.

The Catalans, have of course been very busy during the transfer window, bringing in a whole host of stars including Polish goal machine Robert Lewandowski. His presence is made all the more exciting given that his former team Bayern Munich is also in the group. The Bavarians by the way, have essentially been Barca's nemesis in recent years so expect fireworks in this group before the dust settles.

None the less, let's not get ahead of ourselves. Tonight's match is the focus and we expect it to be an intense affair. On the one hand, the Blaugrana will be looking to show that they are ready to compete with the world's best after the loss of their talisman Leo Messi. On the other, we've got a side Plzen who in truth will have no reason to fair the Catalans having earned their place in Europe's premier competition. Stay with us, it's going to be a good night!

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