Robert Lewandowski warmed up for next week’s meeting with former club Bayern Munich by scoring a magnificent hat-trick in Barcelona’s crushing Champions League win over Viktoria Plzen.
The 34-year-old Poland forward demonstrated his value by making it eight goals in five games since leaving Bayern in July.
Lewandowski, who helped Bayern win the competition in 2019-20, marked his first Champions League appearance for Barca with a clinical finish which doubled the lead after Franck Kessie had headed the hosts ahead.
He then made it 3-1 on the stroke of half-time with a header after Ousmane Dembele did well to win back possession before producing a fine cross.
Viktoria Plzen had briefly given their travelling fans from the Czech Republic something to cheer when Jan Sykora headed past Marc-Andre ter Stegen, but Barca – and Lewandowski – proved far too strong.
Lewandowski completed his hat-trick after 67 minutes following an assist by former Manchester City forward Ferran Torres, who added the fifth.
“Lewandowski showed his class tonight. He is rightly considered one of the best forwards in the world,” said Viktoria Plzen boss Michal Bilek.
Lewandowski is the first player to score a Champions League hat-trick for three different teams – Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich and Barcelona.
He has now scored 32 goals in his last 20 Champions League group stage matches.
This result was the perfect start to Group C for Barcelona, who face Bayern – 2-0 winners at Inter Milan – next Tuesday (20:00 BST).
Lewandowski joined Bayern on a free transfer in 2014 after his departure from Borussia Dortmund and scored 50 goals in 46 games last season as he helped Bayern win a 10th straight Bundesliga title.
He scored 344 times in 374 games for Bayern and is their second-highest scorer of all time behind Gerd Muller.
- 1ter Stegen
- 20RobertoSubstituted forPiquéat 45′minutes
- 19KessieSubstituted forTorreat 81′minutes
- 21de Jong
- 8GonzálezSubstituted forPáez Gaviraat 75′minutes
- 7DembéléSubstituted forDepayat 75′minutes
- 10Fati VieiraSubstituted forTorresat 65′minutes
- 26Peña Sotorres
- 28Balde Martínez
- 30Páez Gavira
- 4PernicaBooked at 4mins
- 21JemelkaBooked at 62minsSubstituted forHolíkat 86′minutes
- 7SykoraSubstituted forPilarat 79′minutes
- 88VlkanovaSubstituted forCermákat 78′minutes
- 18MosqueraBooked at 27minsSubstituted forJirkaat 79′minutes
- 15ChoryBooked at 56minsSubstituted forBasseyat 66′minutes
- Lawrence Visser
Match ends, Barcelona 5, Viktoria Plzen 1.
Second Half ends, Barcelona 5, Viktoria Plzen 1.
Attempt blocked. Pavel Bucha (Viktoria Plzen) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Erik Jirka.
Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Ales Cermák (Viktoria Plzen).
Corner, Viktoria Plzen. Conceded by Jules Koundé.
Substitution, Viktoria Plzen. Libor Holík replaces Václav Jemelka.
Offside, Viktoria Plzen. Václav Pilar tries a through ball, but Václav Jemelka is caught offside.
Foul by Pablo Torre (Barcelona).
Erik Jirka (Viktoria Plzen) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Offside, Viktoria Plzen. Ales Cermák tries a through ball, but Václav Pilar is caught offside.
Substitution, Barcelona. Pablo Torre replaces Franck Kessie.
Substitution, Viktoria Plzen. Erik Jirka replaces Jhon Mosquera.
Substitution, Viktoria Plzen. Václav Pilar replaces Jan Sykora.
Substitution, Viktoria Plzen. Ales Cermák replaces Adam Vlkanova.
Attempt blocked. Jan Sykora (Viktoria Plzen) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Adam Vlkanova.
Attempt saved. Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the left is saved in the bottom right corner.
Substitution, Barcelona. Memphis Depay replaces Ousmane Dembélé.
Substitution, Barcelona. Gavi replaces Pedri.
Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Pavel Bucha.
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Lewandowski hits Barca hat-trick before Bayern return
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