Viktoria Plzen - Barcelona live online: Torre grabs winner, summary, stats, highlights, Champions League 2022-23
Viktoria Plzen - Barcelona: as it happened
FT: Plzen 2-4 Barcelona
That match was perhaps the perfect summary of FC Barcelona this season. For parts of the game they attacked brilliantly, showing flair, control and spinning movement that could tie a spider's legs into a bow.
But then is the part when they remember there is another team playing on the same pitch as them, and sometimes they have to defend. Xavi's side looked like scared figures made of glass that could smash at the slightest hint of an attacking threat from Plzen.
Fair play to the home side for a strong performance and ultimately very entertaining match, but Barcelona's defensive structure facilitated and failed to stop the simplest of offensive plans from Plzen. Time after time they played balls in behind the full-backs and the away side failed to stop them creating chances that they will rightly believe should have had them in front at times.
Ah well, lessons learnt from the horrible experience of this year's UCL and now time to focus on the Europa League... there, I said it!
That's all from me tonight, folks!
Head over to en.as.com for post-match comments from Xavi and the players.
And there is the whistle! Full time!
Plzen 2-4 Barcelona
BIG CHANCE FOR PLZEN. Ball down the right, crossed in and is thumped by Bucha towards Peña. Cleared.
Yellow for Ferran
Cermak with a chance! He smacks a bouncing ball from a corner but Peña gobbles it up.
4 minutes of added time
Chance again for Plzen! And guess how? Behind the full-back!
This time it's the right-back, Holík, who drives forward behind Baldé and forces Peña to stretch out in precaution. He really walloped that.
Kronus on. Youth academy prospect. Poor lad looks freezing cold.
Barça now with some controlled possession in Plzen's half. This is how they trick you, how they make you like them and fool you into thinking they are-
Plzen rob the ball and immediately swing a cross in for another chance. Corner.
PLZEN OFF THE POST!
Jirka smacks a ball off the post from the edge of the box after twisting Baldé's blood. Barcelona, I do not trust you.
Ansu runs up the other side and kindly floats a tame shot into the arms of Stanek.
I had a huge paragraph written on how frail Barcelona look at the back. Deleted it to type up Pablo Torre's goal.
Guess nobody will ever see it now. Sigh.
Off: Chory and Kalmach
On: Bassey and Cermak
Off: Raphinha and Pablo Torre
On: Dembélé and Alvaro Sanz
Bad news for Barça fans as goalscorer Pablo Torre uses the golf cart that Kessié didn't need.
He looks to have injured himself during the goal.
GOAL! BARCELONA MAKE IT 4!
Pablo Torre golazo!
Raphinha played a ball from deep, Torre had found a gap in the high line of the Plzen defence and rifles a shot into the roof of the net.
Xavi's side have played some free-flowing, confident, attacking football at times tonight. But every single attempt from Plzen has looked fatal for Barcelona who just can't be trusted.
The stadium is absolutely rocking here: the Plzen fans definitely think there's something in this for their team, and they're absolutely right to do so.
Barcelona look so frail at the back.
Kessié off; defensive pivot Marc Casado on for his debut.
The ball came in from the right and Pilar met it with a stabbed effort that rolled just wide.
Kessié currently down injured. The golf buggy ambulance vehicle is on the pitch (!), but Kessié is walking next to it.
CHANCE! Plzen have woken up and are piling on the pressure!
PLZEN PULL ONE BACK! 2-3!
A high cross swoops over everyone and Chory jumps highest to meet the ball.
Iñaki Peña doesn't have the same Inspector Gadget arms as his mentor Ter Stegen and can't reach the ball as it bounces in. Game on!
Barcelona look comfortable... right up until they give the ball away. Then they look like they're a toddler who's lost their parent at the supermarket.
Balde on for Alba.
Bellerín says thank you to Xavi for leaving him on by having a long range shot.
Off: Jemelka and Ndiaye
On: Havel and Bucha
GOLAZO GOLAZO GOLAZO
And they bounce right back!
Ferran Torres swivels one way before slipping the ball out to Raphinha.
The Brazilian flicks the ball back onto his left foot and gives it back to his teammate.
Ferran stabs home. Xavi breathes heavily.
Chory sends Peña the wrong way.
Pablo Torre pushed over his marker after a scramble in the box.
Scarves waving wildly at the Doosan Arena.
It will be taken by Chory...
VAR checking the Pablo Torre push...
The second half has started in quite a fiery manner. Lots of naughty fouls.
Baldé warming up.
Ndiaye booked for crashing like a runaway train into tiny Pablo Torre.
Plzen immediately find space behind Barcelona's full-back and loop a huge cross over to the other side of the pitch.
We're back! Second half underway.
Half-time scores around Europe
Here's how the other teams are getting on:
Catch Roddy's coverage of Liverpool vs Napoli here
HT: Plzen 0-2 Barcelona
Plzen will rue the missed chances as they have had many opportunities to draw level or even in front. Their press has been decent and have made light work of Barça's sometimes terrifying defensive efforts.
Having said that, Barcelona deserve their goals too and Xavi must be pleased with the press and intensity with which his side started the game. They picked it back up towards the end after a wobbly few moments mid-way through and on the whole probably deserve to be in front.
No added time here. Petrescu blows for the break.
Plzen 0-2 Barcelona
Raphinha played a clipped ball from the edge of the box to Jordi Alba who had made a brilliant run.
The left-back connected with his head and played it across the six-yard box to Ferran who tapped it in.
Alba judged to be offside after he headed the ball across the goal to Ferran Torres.
This looked like it was going to be "a bath", as they say in Spain. It's turned out to be quite an even, exciting affair so far (thankfully).
Who else was it going to be?
Chance for Ferran. He rushed it. A nice counter attack ruined and he knows it.
Raphinha broke away and played it to the Spaniard who probably should have waited before shooting over.
HUGE CHANCE FOR PLZEN!
A long ball is sent to Vlkanova who runs down the left wing. He cuts in 6 yards out from goal, skips past Bellerín and PIqué before scooping it over Iñaki Peña's goal.
Bellerín has fallen over a few times so far. Not sure if it's the pitch, his boots or if he can't see with that awful mullet covering his eyes.
Barcelona doing a really good job at showing how to make defending look complicated and scary.
Allowing the ball to bounce in the box is never a good idea, Bellerín. Don't do that.
Plzen pinging it between each other on the edge of the Barça box. Ndiaye gets bored of playing pinball and thrashes a shot wide.
Chance for Barcelona!
Kessié moved well with the ball through the middle and laid it off well to Alba, who swung in a low cross. Ansu couldn't reach it.
Another chance for Plzen!
A low ball comes in from the left side this time and Chory is there on his own (in an offside position).
Barça scared again.
Xavi's grumpy levels rising.
PEÑA! BIG SAVE!
A one on one save from a poor throw-in allows the Plzen attacker to step in and test the goalkeeper. Barça can't afford to lower the intensity levels.
Slightly sloppy from Barcelona in recent minutes, first from Kessié and then Gavi in the middle, causing them to lose the ball.
Close from Plzen - two chances in 10 seconds!
Ndiaye's shot from the edge of the box skims the post after a very dangerous ball from Barça's left (again) had Piqué scrambling.
They're beginning to dominate again, Barcelona. Ansu smacks one over the bar from close range after a Raphinha cross.
Piqué with a shot from about 40 yards (seriously) parried away by Stanek
All of a sudden things look different. The home fans have perked up and we see Barça's defensive frailties that have haunted them all season.
A free-kick came swinging in from the right and striker Chory got to it with a diving header. It slapped against Iñaki Peña's crossbar. Xavi has a grumpy face on now.
A long spell of possession allowed Ansu Fati to drift inside where he received the ball and spun a long-range effort into the stands. Nice, patient play from Barça.
Barcelona are very comfortable here, being very intense in the counterpress. Plzen not being allowed a moment to think.
Plzen trying to work Barça's left side, but good pressure from the away team plus some subsequent passing means they calm the situation and begin their attack again.
Great play again from Barcelona, who look very keen to put this game to bed early. A lot of fast link-up play on the edge of the Plzen box and the home side are starting to drop deeper.
Fantastic work from Pablo Torre to skip past his opposite number and feed Raphinha. The Brazilian winger's touch was just too much and ran the ball out of play.
Good work from Ferran who played it out to Ansi on the left.
The winger shot and Stanek spilled it; Marcos Alonso popped up to stab home the rebound. His first goal this season in Europe.
A great start for Xavi's side, who needed that to calm any nerves they might have had.
Plzen cut out some good Barcelona interplay on the edge of the box. They look smooth so far in build up.
First save for Iñaki Peña after a ball comes in from Barça's left side. Easily scooped up.
Good build up from Barcelona. The ball comes in from the left and Ferran stretches but can't quite make sufficient contact.
A lively start.
Kessié is the centre-defensive midfielder; Ferran is the central attacker and Ansu is on the left of attack with Raphinha on the right. Gavi and Torre the two advanced midfielders.
And we're off!
Barcelona kick off from left to right in their grey kit (that looks purple to me)
Teams in the tunnel... Here we go!
Ten to go.
The players have had their final warm up and are now in the changing room for Xavi's last words of preparation.
A good number of Barcelona fans in the stadium tonight. Although it's somewhat hard to make out given the fact that Plzen have the same home colours as the Catalan club.
FT: Porto 2-1 Atlético
Aaaand the final whistle peeps in Porto.
Despite a late goal from Savic, Atlético Madrid are bottom of the group and out of Europe for the season.
The positive thing about this game ending is that it is almost time for Plzen vs Barcelona!
Under half an hour to go!
It's about 12ºC at the stadium tonight, so not too chilly in Plzen.
Let's see if Barcelona can gain any momentum from a good result tonight.
October was a horror month (that is not a Halloween pun) for them in terms of fixtures: 2 Inter games, Real Madrid, Villarreal, Athletic Club, Bayern, Valencia, but they have come out of it, at least in terms of the league, with their trophy challenge intact.
In my opinion, even despite what the huge European failure means in terms of finance, Xavi can consider October's domestic survival as a success.
Barcelona in away colours
Barça will be wearing their 3rd kit tonight.
A 'Sky Grey' shirt, as Nike call it.
Atletico score update: 2-1!
Wait, no. Still 2-0 to Porto.
And now there's a fight. All I saw was the ball rocket into the top corner after a shot from an Atleti player. De Paul booked for a foul in the build up.
Well, would you look at that. Xavi and Guardiola have exactly the same stats as each other. Spooky*.
*this is not a Halloween pun. It's over.
Liverpool vs Napoli
Remember that Roddy is on the other side covering Liverpool vs Napoli, so make sure tocheck out what's going on over there!
(I'll still be watching the action at the Doosan Arena)
9 (nine) Spaniards in Xavi's XI tonight.
Let's see if any of them play well enough to give Luis Enrique a headache in terms of World Cup squad selection.
Lots of changes to Xavi's side.
No Ter Stegen, Baldé, Koundé, Busquets, Pedri, Dembélé or Lewandowski - and breathe!
Viktoria Plzen XI
Here is how the home side line up tonight:
Viktoria Plzen XI: Stanek; Jemelka, Pernica, Hejda, Holík; Kalvach, Ndiaye; Pilar, Vlkanova, Jirka; Chory
Barcelona starting line-up
Here we go!
Barcelona XI: Peña, Bellerín, Piqué, Marcos Alonso, Alba; Kessié, Gavi, Pablo Torre; Ansu, Ferran, Raphinha
A quick HT score update:
FC Porto 2-0 Atlético Madrid
Bayer Leverkusen 0-0 Club Brugge
If things stay as they are, it will be the first time ever that Atleti finish bottom of their Champions League group.
This'll cheer you up, Barça fans
Barcelona published a nice goal compilation from a certain Argentinian forward this afteroon, just to remind everyone how good things used to be.
There's even a lovely flicked assist from Gerard Piqué (who I assumed was Iniesta).
Anyway, back to Barça!
Xavi confirmed that youngsters Iñaki Peña and Pablo Torre are set to feature tonight, which is definitely something to look forward to!
The other Madrid side haven't had it so easy either (in their opinion) as of late.
If Ancelotti had a floppy hat on his head then he might have joined the seven dwarfs at work down the mines during his recent press conference; his continual digging down about referees and penalties did not stop until someone brought up the uncontroversial topic of the Qatar World Cup.
Ouch. Atlético Madrid are currently 2-0 down against Porto in their Champions League game at the Estádio do Dragão.
As it stands, they can only dream of the Europa... sorry, the other tournament.
The referee tonight is Romanian Radu Petrescu. He has overseen 8 games in the Romanian SuperLiga so far this season as well as one in the, ahem, Europa League.
Are we allowed to mention those doomed words?
Xavi confirmed that Robert Lewandowski is set to miss the game tonight. This tweet below from the lovely folks at OptaJose shows just what an impact the Pole has had since his arrival. He just loves goals.
No starting team news just as yet so while we wait on that, here are some quotes on the team from around the footballsphere:
Xavi on his future: “I feel confident in this project. This season the goal is to win titles. The results will come… and if they do not come, then a new coach will come”.
Diario AS went with the headline "out for beers in Plzen" at the top of the FC Barcelona section of the newspaper today.
Probably a fair reflection of what this game means for the club, given their terrible European campaign so far.
Hello hello! Welcome to the live feed of Viktoria Plzen vs Barcelona, the last game of the round and one between the last two teams in the group.
It's Joe here this evening. So far, I have presided over two live feeds and seen two losses for Spanish sides, so it's safe to say that Plzen are in for a treat tonight!
Let’s be honest, pride is the only thing at stake here but we no doubt expect to see Xavi’s side fired up (hopefully more than they were against Bayern) and a Plzen side that will want to leave this season’s edition of the Champions League with at least some points in their pockets.