Robert Lewandowski scored a hat-trick on his Champions League debut for Barcelona as Xavi’s team completely demolished Viktoria Plzen Wednesday night.
After seasons of Champions League embarrassments and last year’s humiliating early exit into the Europa League, a competition they then failed to make an impact in, they now look like contenders once more.
Viktoria Plzen offered little resistance and Barcelona know Bayern will provide a far tougher test next Tuesday but with their former Munich centre-forward leading from the front they fear no-one once more.
Lewandowski is now closing in on Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo who both have eight Champions League hat-tricks. He has six and not since Messi has anyone lit-up the Camp Nou on a big European night in such style. Everything went through him and from three efforts on target he scored three goals.
He has eight goals in five games and targets such as: score in Europe, score in La Liga, score a hat-trick, have all been chalked off.
First came the opening goal and from an unexpected source with Franck Kessie scoring from a corner, something Barcelona had not done since November 2020.
Lewandowski swept in the second from just inside the penalty area after receiving Sergio Roberto’s pass. It was the Pole’s fourth goal in his last three games and his sixth since joining. Goal number seven would not be far behind.