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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

João Félix embellishes Barça | Soccer | Sports

The echo from Saturday’s 5-0 in the League reached last night’s debut in the Champions League. Barça let themselves be carried away by the inertia of the last win and dispatched Antwerp with another 5-0. Barcelona fans feel so comfortable with the moment achieved against Betis that even Xavi arranged a very similar lineup against the Belgian champion. The only new additions were those of Gündogan and Raphinha, substitutes for Oriol Romeu and Ferran Torres, while Lamine Yamal continued on the Montjuïc bench. The figure, in any case, remains Joao Felix. The arrival of the Portuguese has changed the face and the game of a team that he has stopped suffering and started enjoying, from defending to attacking, much superior against friendly rivals like Betis and Antwerp.

The fans have fun with Barça’s many goals. The whistles only resound when the Champions League anthem plays. The noise is just as loud at the Camp Nou as it is at Montjuïc. Barcelona fans have been fighting with the competition since Berlin in 2015. The attempts to win back have ended with thunderous victories in grandiose venues like Anfield. Hope has been restored after a very benign draw and an exciting debut against naive Antwerp. The challenge of the season is to attract the attention of Europe after winning the League against Madrid. The present once again invites optimism because the team and the squad have improved with signings like João Félix.

The Portuguese not only accompanies the play very well, delicate on the inside and subtle on the outside, camouflaged as a false left winger, but he also finishes and assists with the precision and beauty that pleases Barcelona fans so much. João Félix teamed up with Lewandowski and Gündogan to make it 1-0 with an excellent cross shot to the goalkeeper’s right post and shortly after he appeared on the left side of the area to cut in and cross to the far post for Lewandowski’s head. The two plays by the forward on loan from Atlético ended in a flash with a match that began with a passing competition for the Antwerp players’ good footing.

Duel for possession

The Belgian team played, very comfortable and daring, always with the ball at their feet, ready to challenge Barça for possession. The footballers walked from end to end of the field, well dressed and neat, as if they were reviewing the spirited fans who had traveled to Barcelona – about 2,500 -, most of them lined up in the stands and some scattered and fighting with the police around the Stadium. Olympic. The match forced attention on Vermeeren, an 18-year-old center half who has already caused a lot of talk at Barça, and in the middle Mandela Keita. The excitement of the debutant Antwerp, however, lasted about ten minutes; It ended when João Félix, the light of Montjuïc, appeared.

The effectiveness and elegance of the Portuguese made the difference to Lewandowski’s delight. The Pole has regained his spirit and aim with the arrival of João Félix. Individuals have gained confidence and the team has let loose in the last two games with and without Oriol Romeu. The absence of the central midfielder, who started against Betis, increased the prominence of Frenkie de Jong. The Dutchman stepped up in the midfield to feed a forward line completed by Raphinha. The Brazilian scored his goal in a fortunate action because the ball was deflected by Bataille. The score was 3-0 until half-time because the Blaugranas settled down against the lost Antwerp.

The angelic team of the tough Van Bommel no longer knew whether to defend or attack, stunned by the score and also later overwhelmed by the carousel of changes arranged by Xavi. Gavi made it 4-0 with a left-footed shot, after picking up a rejection at the start of a play by João Cancelo, and João Félix He said goodbye after the hour mark with a placid header from Raphinha’s center: 5-0.

The focus was no longer on the game but on the individualities and especially on Lamine Yamal, who at 16 years old became Barça’s youngest debutant in the Champions League. The winger was not fine on two occasions, one very clear, when the fans were rooting for him to also become a scorer in the European Cup. Yamal’s goal did not come and on the contrary Ter Stegen intervened twice in a play of great merit to deny Antwerp the goal of honor.

No score is more celebrated by Barcelona fans than 5-0 and there are already two in just four days after the team has been invigorated and happy with players like João Félix, João Cancelo and Gündogan. Barça seems to be comfortable in Montjuïc.

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